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Britain’s Youngest Head Chef

Wed Apr 17, 9-10pm, BBC3

Few restaurateurs would take on a head chef without first tasting their food. Yet boutique hotel owner Mark Fuller was so enamoured with 18-year-old Luke Thomas (or blinded by pound signs) that he signed him up immediately.

‘I would be a liar if I didn’t say I thought it was a great PR angle,’ he admits, and he’s not the only one. Thomas has been pimping himself out (in a culinary sense) since the age of 12, when he worked Saturdays at his local butcher. Now he has experience from working in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, including Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, as well as stints on ‘Junior Masterchef’ and the ‘Great British Menu’ under his belt. Thomas is talented and driven – he’s out for a Michelin star by the time he’s 21 – but his ego is enormous and his arrogance grating.

Still, waiting to see if the precocious tyke stumbles makes for compulsive telly. A few pitfalls may have viewers feeling smug and Fuller pining after those pounds, but Thomas remains determined to become Britain’s youngest head chef.