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Will Holland

He joined Alan Murchison’s L’Ortolan in Reading in 2004, initially as sous chef, but was promoted to head chef within months and ran his kitchen there for three years. He then became head chef at Murchison’s sister restaurant La Bécasse in 2007. 'Alan was a big influence and a big mentor in my career. Obviously he continued to teach me how to cook and how to run a kitchen, but it’s more than that. It’s about how you talk to guests, and it’s about your persona. A successful chef is so much more than being able to cook.'

Will earned his first Michelin star at La Bécasse – one of the proudest days of his life – two years after joining and before his thirtieth birthday. He also added three AA rosettes to his growing list of accolades, with the Good Food Guide naming him one of the ten most influential chefs of the decade. With a long work history under classically trained chefs from the Raymond Blanc and Roux brothers school of cooking, the food that earned Will his star remained in this vein.

In 2014, Will Holland opened Coast on the Pembrokeshire shore – his own restaurant, in a purpose-built venue. His new restaurant offered an altogether different proposition to the Michelin-starred fine dining restaurants he had worked in for nearly two decades. 'Coast is definitely a difference in style as it’s a lot more informal, it’s a lot more relaxed. I do think that’s the way the restaurant and dining scene is going. It’s not about white tablecloths, it’s not about tray service, it’s not about four or five waiters to one table, it’s about really, really good food.'

Although his seafood-heavy menu at Coast displayed the signs of classic French technique, he also took influences from anywhere in the world.

Will Holland has often spoken of his drive for success and his early ambition to be the best. Having proved himself in more traditional fine-dining restaurants around the country, he moved on to take over Ocean at the Atlantic, on the island of Jersey, in October 2017.