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The Craft Guild of
Chefs is delighted to announce the finalists of this year
s
National Chef of the Year competition.

The eight chefs
were selected from the 40 chefs shortlisted to take part in the semi-final
heats at Sheffield College on Tuesday June 10th and Le Cordon Bleu in London on
Wednesday June 25th.

The chefs each
prepared a three course meal for four guests within two hours. The menu had to
reflect Asian; Oriental; Modern British; Modern European
 and Rest of the World cuisines and consist of a vegetable focused
starter, main course using locally sourced fresh white fish, with appropriate
accompaniments and a dessert using summer fruits, served hot or cold.

The eight
finalists are:

  • Adam Handling, head chef, St Ermins Hotel, London
  • Andrew Gotting,
    executive group head chef, Galloping Gourmet, Worcestershire
  • Daniel Morgan,
    sous chef, The Square, London

  • Diane Kay,
    development chef, Reynolds, Hertfordshire

  • Lahiru Jayasekara,
    head chef, The Manor at Weston on the Green, Oxfordshire
  • Nick Edgar, head
    chef, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat
    ‘ Saisons, Oxfordshire
  • Russell Bateman,
    head chef, Colette
    s, Hertfordshire
  • Simon Webb, head
    chef, Restaurant Associates, London
     

The judging panel
for the semi-finals included chefs Benoit Blin, Ben Tish, Clare Smyth, Cyrus
Todiwala, Gary Jones MCA, Phil Howard, Vivek Singh.  It was the first time that the London heats
had taken place in the illustrious training kitchens of one of Europe
s
premier cooking schools, Le Cordon Bleu.

Phil Howard, chair
of the judges said,
A huge amount of energy and enthusiasm goes into  chef competitions. The competitors here today
aren
t here because they have to be but because they have an absolute,
all consuming passion to compete and commitment to their profession.  As a judge I
m always
interested to see where British cooking is at and what shines through from
today is proper cooking, seasonality and provenance.  I
ve enjoyed some outstanding food and
phenomenal finesse today and I
m looking forward to some excellent food at
the final.
 

The chefs cooked a
wide range of dishes making good use of seasonal British produce.  The shortlisted starter dishes included A
Chilled English Garden Essence
from Russell Bateman, Wye Valley
Asparagus, Orange and Chantenay Carrot Salad, Aylesbury Duck Pastrami
from
Diane Kay with mains such as Halibut, Wild Garlic, Cauliflower, Gem from
Adam Handling and a dessert of Strawberry and Elderflower Panna Cotta,
Gooseberry and Gew
ürztraminer from
Nick Edgar.

Each finalist will
take part in a Mentor Day on Friday, September 19th at Unilever Food Solutions
in Leatherhead where they will be given details of the mystery basket of
ingredients that they must use in the final. 
They will go on to compete in front of a live audience at The Restaurant
Show on Tuesday, October 7th.

David Mulcahy, the
competition
s organiser and Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs, is
looking forward to seeing the finalists in action,
By becoming a
National Chef of the Year the winner will enter an exclusive club of gifted
British Chefs, many whom have gone on to enjoy fantastic careers. We
re
really looking forward to seeing eight talented chefs compete for their place
in culinary history.

For more
information visit http://craftguildofchefs.org

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