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Frederick Forster, head chef at Nuovo Restaurant has landed the ultimate prize in the culinary world by being crowned The National Chef of the Year 2011 by the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Frederick’s victory came on the back of an exhilarating final at The Restaurant Show, held at Earls Court 2. In a two-hour cook-off between the final eight contenders it was Frederick’s menu, style and execution of ingredients that saw the judges declare the Nuovo Restaurant chef the winner. His winning dishes included sauté scallops with crab “Biegnet” and roasted breast of duck with braised thigh flavoured with smoked bacon.
 
The illustrious award has seen top chefs from all across the country competing for the title. Last month, the field was whittled down from forty contenders to the final eight following highly competitive semi-finals in Sheffield and London.

Legendary figures in the culinary world Bruce Poole, Chris Galvin, Angela Hartnett, Atul Kochhar, Vivek Singh, Andrew Bennett, Gary Hunter, Mark Flanagan, Henry Brosi, and Graham Hornigold, were on hand to judge the dishes cooked up by the finalists.

David Mulcahy, organiser of the competition and vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “All our congratulations go to Frederick on his fabulous achievement, in what was a tremendous end to another fantastic National Chef of the Year contest. In fact, the standard of quality on display throughout the entire competition this year has been remarkable. 

“The dishes produced by all the final eight were of such a high standard. Choosing a winner was never going to be easy, but all the judges were in agreement that Frederick created a winning menu from the original basket of ingredients. His menu was innovative, well planned and brilliantly executed on the day under enormous pressure.

Aside from being awarded the esteemed title of The National Chef of the Year 2011, Frederick received a prize fund worth in excess of £12,000 including an exclusive study trip to France, courtesy of Lockhart Catering Equipment one of the headline sponsors of this year’s event, plus wine tasting in the acclaimed Hermitage region and dinner at a 3-starred Michelin restaurant.

Other prizes for the winner included a money-can’t-buy masterclass with Marco Pierre White, courtesy of headline sponsor Knorr. Electrolux also provided Frederick with the equipment from the competition theatre used to prepare the winning dishes.

Alyn Williams, Chef/Patron at Alyn Williams at The Westbury and Hayden Groves, Executive Chef at Lloyds of London, Avenance were declared first and second runners up respectively.

For more information on either The National Chef of the Year 2011 or The Young National Chef of the Year 2011 visit www.craftguildofchefs.org, and follow the Guild on twitter @Craft_Guild.

The Guild also has a LinkedIn group, a facebook page, and an official blog http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs/craft-guild-of-chefs/.

Young gun takes junior title

The Restaurant Show was also the venue for the final of the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Young National Chef of the Year 2011. Charles Smith, junior sous chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, earned the top plaudits and walked away with the crown.

Steve Munkley, also a vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “Charles showed a great understanding for the ingredients he worked with on the day. He kept his composure all the way through the competition and his dishes reflected the skill sets that Charles has developed at such a young age. It completes a great year for Charles, as he was part of the team that won the Young Chef Young Waiter competition.”

The Young National Chef of the Year is for 18-24 year old chefs who work in any sector of the industry but finalists are chosen by the Craft Guild of Chefs by invitation only. The final line-up for Young National Chef of the Year 2011 saw contenders working everywhere from a Michelin starred Channel Islands hotel to the House of Commons.

Charles’ menu, which consisted of prawn, scallop and caviar herb pappardelle as a starter and best end of lamb for main course, ticked all the right boxes for the judges. As part of winning the distinguished competition, Charles will now embark on a trip to Dubai. Courtesy of sponsor Churchill China, the prize includes work experience at three different venues, flights, accommodation and board for five days at the Emirates Hospitality Academy part of the Jumeirah Group.

Charles also won, thanks to Robert Welch and Ashburton Cookery School, a Chef Skills Advanced Weekend. This includes cooking at a fine dining level, accommodation and evening meal and a place on Leadership In The Kitchen training course at the prestigious Ashburton Chefs Academy in Devon. The prize package is valued at over £1000.

Andrew Postlethwaite, from the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal and Dimitar Angelkovski, from the Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, were declared second and third respectively.

The finalists at The National Chef of the Year 2011
Craig Beacham – Sous Chef, The Elephant Restaurant & Brassiere
David Bush- Senior Chef de Partie, House of Commons
Richard Edwards – Head Chef, Park Restaurant, Lucknam Park Hotel
Frederick Forster- Head Chef, Nuovo Restaurant
Hayden Groves — Executive chef at Lloyds of London, Avenance
Joe McCafferty – Senior Chef de Partie, ROKA Restaurant
Simon Webb — Head chef at Restaurant Associates
Alyn Williams – Chef Patron at Alyn Williams at The Westbury

The finalists at The Young National Chef of the Year 2011
Dimitar Angelkovski – Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire
Brendan Baxter – Restaurant 23 Warren Point, Northern Ireland
Garret Keown – The Bell Inn, Horndon-On-The-Hill
Rositsa Nikolova – House of Commons
Glenn Noel – The Atlantic Hotel, Ocean Restaurant, Jersey
Andrew Postlethwaite – Castle Green Hotel, Kendal
Charles Smith – Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
Emily Webb – Royal Garden Hotel, London