MasterChef’s Thomasina Miers: Where is the Wahaca restaurateur now?

Thomasina Miers
Thomasina won MasterChef in 2005

Talented, adventurous and bold are just a few words to describe Thomasina Miers. The successful restaurateur shot to fame winning the first series of the rebooted MasterChef, but where is she now?

Since then, Thomasina, 40, has opened more than 20 restaurants, taken part in numerous cooking shows and written six cookbooks, making her sizzle as the flagship programme’s biggest commercial success. 

MasterChef may have boosted Thomasina to glory, but the busy mum-of-three has faced career lows.

Failing in journalism, modelling and advertising, Thomasina enrolled herself into Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, aged 26.

Four years later Thomasina began a career devoted to food, with a MasterChef win under her belt.

The Cheltenham-born restaurateur encourages women to immerse themselves in business.

“We are natural entrepreneurs. We are creative, adaptable and tough. Man flu leaves men bedridden; women just get on with it.”

Mum to three young girls, Thomasina balances her hectic business life with bringing up a family.

Thomasina  showed off her entrepreneurial talents in 2007, launching her first Mexican restaurant, Wahaca, in London.

thomasina-wahaca
Thomasina set up her first Wahaca in Covent Garden

Thomasina first got her taste for Mexican flavours at the age of 18, when she first visited the North American country.

 “I remember getting home and being unable to find anything other than Tex Mex in London, and thinking someone will capitalise on this, but no one ever did.”

Thomasina revisited Mexico City ten years later to work in a bar. During her time there, the food enthusiast fell back in love with the local cuisine.

When Thomasina returned to England, she remained inspired by the rich Mexican flavours and launched Wahaca on the streets of London.

Now the Mexican food chain has nine locations in London, including Soho and Canary Wharf. Wahaca now has over 20 branches in the UK.

Wahaca locations outside of London:

  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Chichester
  • Edinburgh
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Southampton

The road has not always been smooth for Wahaca. Thomasina was under fire in November 2016, when a Norovirus outbreak affected more than 300 people in her Mexican chain restaurant.

The infection caused nine of Thomasina’s restaurants to close temporarily. 

Now reopened, Thomasina stated: “We threw everything we had at it. It cost us an absolute fortune and we were determined to recover from a bad reputation.”

Thomasina did not let the setback get the better of her and has since seen her brand expand with ‘Wahaca at Home’ taco kits, available at 900 Tesco stores across the UK.

Thomasina’s latest book Chilli Notes is available on Amazon for £24.99.

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