National Chef of the Year Winner 2016 Announced
Larry Jayasekara, sous chef at Gordon Ramsay Holdings, was yesterday announced as the Craft Guild of Chefs’National Chef of the Year 2016, the UK’s most sought after chef prize.
The Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year is the largest and most prestigious chef competition in the UK and the final was watched by more than 100 hospitality professionals and students at The Restaurant Show in London’s Olympia. The chefs were given just two hours to produce four covers consisting of a starter and main using seafood and meat selected from a mystery basket. They had to create a hot or cold dessert using chocolate and coffee.
Larry joins an esteemed club of winners, which includes Ramsay himself, David Everitt- Matthias, Alyn Williams, Mark Sargeant and many more who have gone on to gain industry-wide recognition and achieve ambitious career goals thanks to their success in the competition.
Second place in the competition went to Paul Foster from Mallory Court and in third place was Martin Carabott from the The Royal Automobile Club.
The remaining finalists were:
Adam Handling, Head Chef, Adam Handling at Caxton
Andrew Ditchfield, Pastry Chef, House of Commons
Lawrence McCarthy, Sous Chef, The Ledbury Restaurant
Luciano Lucioli, Head Chef, Marks & Spencers Headquarters (Lusso – CH&Co)
Mark Kempson, Head Chef, Kitchen W8
Larry’s menu of Plancha native lobster, leek, red pepper, Roast loin of venison, cavelo nero, blackberries, Chocolate coffee cream, pan roasted pear greatly impressed the judging panel which once again comprised some of Britain’s most accomplished chefs. This year they were led by chair of judges Clare Smyth and included Alyn Williams, Ben Tish, Claude Bosi, Daniel Clifford, James ‘Jocky’ Petrie, Sat Bains and Stephen Terry.
As well as the career defining benefits associated with winning National Chef of the Year, Larry also collected the winner’s medal, £1,250 to spend within Lockhart’s product range, a unique gastronomic trip to one of the world’s top restaurants courtesy of Lockhart Catering Equipment, a £1,500 activity voucher courtesy of KNORR and an exclusively designed winner’s plate from Churchill.
David Mulcahy, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition says,
“The National Chef of the Year is a major career boost for the winning chef and the title is coveted by chefs throughout the UK. Today the judges felt that the quality of all the finalists’ dishes had risen significantly. They were extremely focused and all the dishes extremely well executed. It was a much closer competition that in previous years and it was fantastic to see and taste so many delicious dishes.”
Clare Smyth, chair of judges, commented, “We knew that standards would be high this year and we’ve had an amazing final. It’s great to have so many fantastic chefs entering and whilst we’ve had some fantastic finals I think this really was the best ever.
The desserts particularly were the best desserts there have ever been in the competition. The top three were really close but thanks to having such incredible judges, each with a different opinion, the results balanced out and the best chef won.”
For more information visit: www.craftguildofchefs.org or follow @Craft_Guild #NCOTY on Twitter.