Paul O’Neill – Hattusa at Berwick Lodge

Paul O'Neill Square

Paul O’Neill began his career in professional kitchens aged just 15. At school he struggled academically and so decided to swap the classroom for the kitchen. He sent his CV to numerous hotels, but it was the prestigious Claridge’s in London which gave him his big break offering him a training placement in their kitchens.

While Paul may not have excelled at school, it soon became apparent that he had found his vocation and by the age of 22 he was working as a Senior Sous Chef for a 4 Red Star Property with 2 rosettes.

It was during his time as a Sous Chef at Ashdown Park Hotel in Surrey that Paul decided to take part in the Roux Scholarship competition. For the first time ever the competition was televised and in June 2013 he was named as the 30th Roux Scholar live on television, putting him among the ranks of culinary heavyweights such as Andrew Fairlie, Simon Hulstone and Sat Bains.

Michel Roux Jnr said: “Paul is undoubtedly a great chef and an assiduous one at that but his unflappable nature along with his generous comportment make him the perfect Roux Scholar.”

Last year Paul reached the semi final of the National Chef of the Year competition, but has now decided to bow out of the competition circuit.

He said: “I now want to focus on the success of Hattusa and making it a real culinary destination.”

Paul describes his style of cooking as Modern British with an occasional Asian twist, and he is looking forward to making his mark on the Bristol culinary scene.

He said: “I want to introduce a fresh style of dining to Berwick Lodge.

“My aim is to ensure that Hattusa gains an excellent reputation in its own right – not just as part of the hotel.

“The hotel already has two AA rosettes but I am aiming to get a third this year, and maybe even a Michelin star in the future.

“I am also hoping to introduce some new and exciting cookery courses at Berwick Lodge’s purpose-built cookery school.

“I have a fantastic, enthusiastic team behind me who all share my vision so I am confident that together we can achieve this.”