Paul Wood

What is your back ground?

I started catering at school and then went on to study at Westminster College in London for five years, three years full-time and the two years part-time, where I got my City & Guilds 147, 151, Westminster College Advanced Diploma and City & Guilds 7063 Advanced Diploma.

I worked in various London hotels when at college and after including The Mayfair Hotel, The Churchill Hotel, The Portman Hotel and The Dorchester Hotel by for moving to The Grand Hotel in Switzerland. I then moved to the Bunny Club in Bermuda and worked freelance in New York for three months. On returning to the UK I worked in Guys Hospital in Nuffield House Private Patients Wing as a Chef de Partie.

From there I moved to G.L.C. County Hall Directors Dining as a Sous Chef and then moved in to Contract Caterers as a Relief Area Catering Manager, I then joined NatWest Bank as Head Chef / Manager for their Directors Dining.

In March 1983 I took up my first teaching post at Thanet College in Kent. In March 2001 I moved to Barnet College as the Advance Craft Lecturer / Course Director. In Sept 2003 I moved to White Hart Lane School as a Food Technology /Catering Teacher. In 2005 I moved to the College of North West London Advance Craft Lecturer / Course Leader and then in September 2008 I moved to my present post at Oaklands College Chef Lecturer.

What has been one of the highlights of your career?

Cooking for the Queen on two occasions and being selected as one of the 100 hundred chefs on the Queen Mother's 100th birthday parade in London.

Tell us something interesting about yourself

I have been the Race Director and Chairman of my local athletic club for nine years; I am a Regimental Catering Warrant Officer in the Army. I am a Technical Instructor and was part of the Army Joint Services Culinary Team (winning two gold medals). I am a qualified Course Measurer and Senior Race Scrutineer for UK Athletics and the Chairman of the British Association of Road Races.

I have entered and won awards at lots of Salon Culinaires, including Hotel Olympia. I was Chef Mentor to the London Heat Winner of Future Chef (14-16 year-olds) 2003. I have also won the National Army Combat Caterer in 1988 and was runner up in 1987. I have won the Wildman Trophy & The Norfolk Bowl both Culinary and Military Skills Competitions. I have been the Army National Veterans Cross-Country Champion and Army Veterans Half Marathon Champion. This year I completed the London Surrey 100 Mile cycle ride.

What do you like best about working at Oaklands College?

Working with great students and staff.

Finally what has been your best meal?

A private chefs' table in the kitchen of Marcus Wareing's Gilbert Scott Restaurant in London.