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Lewis comes back to his roots at Refined

Chef tutor Mark Jones and Lewis Kuciers

A former trainee chef at West Nottinghamshire College has returned to the kitchens for an evening of great taste and to show current students his success in the sector.

Lewis Kuciers, 28, graduated from the Level 3 Professional Cookery Diploma back in 2015 under the tuition of chef tutor Mark Jones.  This spring he’s brought his skills and experience back to the college’s Refined restaurant to cook up a gastronomic fayre for diners.


Following his studies at the college Lewis ventured to work at The Black Bull in Blidworth, where he spent five years in the kitchens, seeing the popular pub earn a 2 AA Rosette award. Lewis and fellow student Craig Haddon hosted a number of the college’s professional cookery student visits to the pub, seeing them learn from their advancing chef skills.


Lewis then took his career to the next level and began working as chef de partie at The Railway at Lowdham, which is part of the Secret Pub Company chain. Advancing to sous chef and then head chef, Lewis then expanded his skills managing sister pub The Plough, ably seeing this new establishment through its set up.


Lewis said: “I was pretty much running the group at this stage, managing sixteen chefs over the four Secret Pub Company sites and planning and organising events. I still did kitchen work, overseeing 800 covers a week – I was incredibly busy.


“It was a great time in my career and by then I had two children as well. I soon began to think of wanting my own business.”


In the winter of 2023 Lewis put together his business plan for owning his own food trailer and beginning the makings of Kuciers Catering. Three months of planning and careful consideration later and Lewis was the proud owner of a Citroen H van – the mobile venue of his new catering chapter.


Lewis is now successfully running his dream business, attending parties, weddings and other large events, catering to a wide range of tastes from burger and fries, street food menus at birthday bashes to full sit-down wedding breakfasts for up to a hundred guests.


He said: “I’ve gone from having 20 chefs to doing a lot of this work myself, but I am using all those skills I gained in my former job to carefully plan and organise many events. Additionally, all of the planning and prep skills I learnt at college are still part of my repertoire.


“It’s been great to come back to college to where it all began and hopefully inspire students of today so they can see that their hard work and dedication can really pay off.”


Lewis brought his catering van to the college’s Refined restaurant to show students his new business while getting stuck into the preparation for the restaurant’s popular Thursday evening menu. Students joined him to put together over 40 covers which consisted of a starter of honey-glazed chorizo with goat’s cheese, apricots and puffed wild rice.

The main course was char-grilled flat iron steak with asparagus, truffle potato terrine, parmesan and wild garlic and salsa verdé.


Pre-desert was a lemon curd tartlet with brown butter shortbread accompanied by meringue and frozen raspberries. Guests then had a final course of fudge brownie and whipped tiramisu, miso fudge and coffee and caramel ice cream.


Chef tutor Mark Jones said: ““Lewis continues with the same drive and aspirations to develop his craft, which is a credit to his dedication and ambition to succeed in all he does within our industry”.


"I have no doubt that he will create a successful business which will go from strength to strength.”


Lewis can be found on both Facebook and Instagram by searching @kucierscatering 

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