Tom Williams-Hawkes hit the pinnacle of his powerboat racing career in 2014 when he won the UIM Class 3A World Championship with John Guille.
Since then Williams-Hawkes from Devon in England has featured regularly as a tenacious ThunderCat racer when he isn’t cooking in The Salutation Inn of where he is the co-owner.
Williams-Hawkes’ was trained under such cooking luminaries as Gordon Ramsay and Michel Caines and has been running his own successful hotel and restaurant with wife Amelia since 2010 reports the Daily Telegraph.
However, since the world changed overnight due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Williams-Hawkes has swapped serving up fine dining for bacon butties and other essential fare and is selling soup pots, cakes, brownies, nuts, fresh pasta, sauces, scones and eggs outside of the Salutation Inn.
He told the Daily Telegraph:
I’m not a cook who likes being out front, but it is now our duty to do so.
Speaking to all our customers with a smile and chatting during these times is going to change me into a better person.
We have a duty to crack on and serve our town and make sure our team gets every penny to get by.
We’ve forgotten about being in this for the money.
This is about serving a small town.
Williams-Hawkes told the Daily Telegraph that the change from tasting menus to street trading wasn’t as onerous as it could have been:
My team, and the wider hospitality industry, are actually bizarrely well prepared for serving in this environment.
Naturally, my kitchen staff are highly trained in cross contamination, and the front of house team have amazing compassion and know how to communicate well with people – at a distance, of course…
I’m staying extremely positive, putting emotions on hold and trying to think about what is going on and what we can do next.
We’ve created a staff Whatsapp group with a joke of the day, and people can message if they need anything delivered. The main things in life are food, love and communication.
John raced Offshore UIM Class 3 in the 1980’s & 1990’s.
He served as the Cowes Torquay Cowes Event Director for 4 years, including running the 50 th Anniversary Event in 2010.
He has recently organised 4 British Offshore races under UKOPRA sanction.
He is the Editor of Powerboat Racing World.