Liam Tomlin was born in Dublin, Ireland, where his career as a chef began at the age of 14. He went on to gain experience in some of Ireland and Europe’s finest kitchens, eventually moving to Australia in 1991. For the next six years Liam worked with Dietmar Sawyer of ‘Restaurant Forty One’ as Chef de Cuisine, honing his skills and accumulating invaluable knowledge from one of the world’s finest chefs. In 1997, Liam opened ‘Banc Restaurant’ in Sydney, Australia, where his commitment to exceptional standards in service and cuisine garnered ‘Banc’ many accolades including the much coveted 3 Hats Award and the Restaurant of the Year title in the 2001 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards. In that same year Liam also earned the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year award.
Liam’s dedication to excellence has also been recognised by British Airways, with his appointment in 2000 as a member of the prestigious ‘Taste Team’. Since then he has worked alongside culinary icons Michel Roux (Snr), Shaun Hill, Richard Corrigan, Mark Edwards and renowned Master of Wine, Jancis Robinson.
In 2001 Liam was selected, amongst others from Australia, as a finalist for the inaugural ‘World Master of Culinary Arts’ award, a major global initiative to find and honour the world’s leading chefs. Over the years Liam has been invited to take part in many local and overseas promotions and cookery schools which has taken him to Dublin, London, Zurich, Amsterdam, Rome, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Bangkok, Auckland, Hong Kong, South Africa, Maldives, Spain, Portugal and Singapore.
Liam and his wife, Jan, moved to Cape Town, South Africa, in 2004 where he established his consultancy company, Beyond Food. The business has a growing reputation with both local and international clients within a variety of industries ranging from individual restaurants e.g. The Roundhouse, food companies and retailers such as Woolworths Development Kitchen to luxury game lodges including Lion Sands. Leading urban hotels such as The Cape Grace and wine farms including La Motte complete the portfolio.
Liam’s latest venture, Chefs Warehouse & Cookery School, is located in the heart of Cape Town. It offers a combination of retail and culinary education: The Warehouse retails quality equipment, unique food products and cook books to both trade and public while the School is a natural extension of Liam’s passion for fine cuisine and his enthusiasm for training young chefs to the highest standards of either basic cooking or, the skills required to work in the finest dining rooms in the world. The author of three well-respected books, ‘BANC’ and ‘Season to Taste’, Liam’s third book ‘Lessons with Liam’ was released November 2012 as a complement to Chefs Warehouse and Cookery School.
Chefs Warehouse has recently moved to new premises at 92 Bree Street. The cookery school has been closed, and in its place Chefs Warehouse and Canteen has been created. The Chefs Warehouse part still supplies great products to all and the Canteen, a relaxed and casual eating experience has taken off. Serving an ever changing lunch and a Tapas dinner, the Canteen has expanded the boundaries of what was on offer, and has taken off really well.