Tom Shepherd has been announced as the winner of the Central region heat on Great British Menu. The Chef Patron of Upstairs, currently the holder of the only Michelin star in Staffordshire, received a total of 36 points for his four courses, inspired by British animation and illustration.
Tom said of the win, “I am absolutely ecstatic that on my first Great British Menu experience I was able to cook all the dishes I had prepared, and to have made it through to the final is just incredible. It was a tough week which is a testament to the talent currently in the Central region.”
Two of the four dishes cooked by Tom received full marks from the veteran judge, Paul Ainsworth. In the judge’s chamber, Tom’s dessert ‘No ordinary school boy (Bananaman)’ was given four 10s by the judges, the only dish to receive the full 40 points in this series.
Upstairs by Tom Shepherd was awarded 1 Michelin Star by the Michelin Guide UK & Ireland, after trading for only 4 months. The restaurant opened its doors in October 2021 to much acclaim, serving contemporary dishes from a beautiful first-floor restaurant in Lichfield, Staffordshire.
Tom’s flavour led dishes are based on a modern take of classical cooking, utilising the best seasonal British ingredients, with subtle hints of Asia. The flagship tasting menu of seven courses includes dishes like Orkney Scallop, Peanut Satay, Coriander, Radish and Teriyaki Quail, Maitake, Yeast, Wild Garlic and the signature Thai Green Curry ‘’transition’’ course.
The recently extended 40-cover restaurant is a beautiful and welcoming space accessed by a striking, sumptuously decorated staircase leading to the upstairs dining room. Cosy, comfortable banquettes create an intimate feel, while a beautiful bar area showcases local beers, wines and spirits, and a central chef’s table is available for diners who want to experience the kitchen team’s cooking first-hand.
An acclaimed and decorated chef, Tom has experience heading up kitchens at some of the best restaurants in the UK, most recently at Adam’s restaurant in Birmingham, where he successfully retained the restaurant’s Michelin star and three AA rosettes during his time as head chef.
His previous experience includes time spent as a development chef at the two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Sat Bains, as well as two-Michelin-starred The Latymer, under Michael Wignall, and The Samling.
Bookings for September to December go live on 29 March.