A chef who got himself into £20,000 worth of debt starting his own business now runs a six-figure food photography company.

Nathan Snoddon, 29, who has worked at some of the world’s most renowned Michelin star restaurants, is set to turn over £250,000 this year.

But getting his company off the ground wasn’t necessarily smooth sailing, and Nathan ran up debt worth £20,000 setting up Food Story Media.

Buying equipment, including a camera and lighting, and general running costs are just some of the expenses the entrepreneurial chef had to fork out.

Nathan, who trained as a cook after leaving school, decided to set up Food Story Media after being made redundant from his job as a sous chef at Bonhams in Mayfair.

Food Story Media is made up of four employees now (

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Food Story Media)

“Throughout my entire career as a chef, I’ve seen photographers coming into kitchens asking the chef to hold up a plate of food in their hands and smile at the camera. I always hated it, it never told a story,” explained Nathan.

“It was the same old rubbish without any context, emotion or purpose. It was during this time that I became obsessed with photography and the ability to capture a moment of passion that speaks to you.

“That’s when you get the best photographs, when someone is engrossed in their craft. I wanted to give the kitchen the voice it deserves.”

Nathan, who moved to London from Belfast in his mid-20s, says his life has always revolved around food, with him working as a pot wash since the age of 11 at a restaurant where his mum worked front-of-house.

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Food Story Media focuses on photography and digital storytelling (

Image:

Food Story Media)

He launched Food Story Media in 2018, which helps restaurants with their branding through photography, social media, cinematography and website design.

As his business goes from strength to strength, Nathan plans to expand into America in the autumn with a New York office opening and predicted revenues of £500,000 in 2022.

He now has a team of four, including his life partner, Alla Malina, who also comes from a restaurant background and helped him to set up the digital brand development agency.

So far, clients include Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and Clare Smyth of Core in Notting Hill, both holding three Michelin stars.

Celebrity chef and Masterchef star Monica Galetti is also a Food Story Media customer.

Nathan has plans to expand into the US with an office in New York (

Image:

Food Story Media)

Nathan said: “Chefs at that level can spend 16 hours a day, five days a week in restaurants. There is so much sacrifice involved physically and mentally.

“I wanted to do those chefs justice and communicate the levels of passion and drive involved whilst helping people to understand more about what goes on behind the kitchen door: the details, the precision, the teamwork, the comradery.

“I thought I could be the one to do that because of my background as a chef and my love for the craft.”

Nathan has had zero investment in his business and almost every penny made has been reinvested.

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