SHARSTON House chef Douglas Hemlin is preparing an international food festival for World Food Day, tomorrow.

Douglas' glittering career has taken him full circle from Manchester, via a string of five-star hotels in Europe and Australia, back to the north west.

Now living in Mobberley, Douglas, 61, has been chef at Sharston House care home, in Knutsford, for two years, and relishes taking time out of the kitchen for a chat with his 'five-star' residents.

Douglas grew up in Manchester and started his chef apprenticeship with the Hilton Group as a teenager, working at the Hilton in Stratford Upon Avon before moving to Park Lane in London.

He completed his apprenticeship at the Hilton’s training school in Basel, Switzerland, and then worked at the Hiltons in Zurich and Geneva.

His career then took him as senior sous-chef to a five-star hotel in Guernsey, where he enjoyed cooking for and socialising with the actor Oliver Reed.

In 1988 Douglas moved to Australia, selected as one of 20 chefs from 2,000 applicants to help launch four five-star Hyatt hotels.

Living in Australia for 27 years, his final position was as executive chef, in charge of 80 staff, at the Sea World resort on the Gold Coast.

He said: “During that time I always came back to see my parents, and I knew I always wanted to come back to the north west for my final career move.

“I have dual nationality, and when I eventually retire I will split my time between the UK and Australia.”

Douglas said he adapted straightaway to working at a care home.

He said: “A job is what you make it, and I look at it like a five-star hotel. The people here have to be looked after as five-star residents.

Of all the celebrities he has cooked for, he most fondly recalls Pele – 'a lovely man' – who he met at the Sea World Resort in Australia.