It’s now or never for eight of the UK’s top chefs as they gear up for battle to be crowned The National Chef of the Year 2011. The illustrious award has seen forty chefs reduced to the final eight following four highly competitive semi-finals in Sheffield and London.
The final stage of the most prestigious competition on the culinary calendar will take place at the Restaurant Show at Earls Court 2, London, on October 11th 2011 and will be judged by, Philip Howard, Chris Galvin, Angela Hartnett, Atul Kochhar, Vivek Singh, Andrew Bennett, Gary Hunter, Mark Flanagan, Henry Brosi, and Graham Hornigold.
David Mulcahy, organiser of the competition and vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “The National Chef of the Year competition is all about pitting the best-of-the-best in the industry and finding the one chef that is worthy to be honoured with this ultimate award.
“The semi finals have already provided us with excitement, drama and some fabulous takes on cutting edge dishes. The final is set to take the competition to another level and all competitors will need to be at the very top of their game.”
Finalists will be invited to gather in London on September 23rd at a Mentor’s Day – a new element to this year’s competition where all information relating to the final will be shared as well as revealing the mystery basket of goods.
The final eight chefs in the running are as follows:
Hayden Groves – Executive chef at Lloyds of London, Avenance
Semi-final menu – Canapés: Tuna nicoise; Croque madame; Beetroot panna cotta
Main Course: Breast of Telmara Farm duck, confit leg and foie gras bon bon, fondant potato
Dessert: Caramelized banana cheesecake mousse, salted peanut butter ice cream
Simon Webb — Head chef at Restaurant Associates
Semi-final menu – Canapés: Quail, preserved lemon, Granny Smith, feta cheese; Yellow fin tuna, sauce Antiboise, black olive; Potato gnocchi, ale. Truffle pesto, Cos lettuce
Main Course: Goosnargh duckling, pistachio, corn polenta, Lardo di Colonnata
Dessert: Roast banana semi-sorbet, Manjari chocolate,caramelized peanut
Alyn Williams – Chef Patron at The Westbury
Semi-final menu – Canapés: Pork, prawn croquettes and spiced onion dip; Pickled watermelon, chestnut and Szechuan pepper; Frog legs and curry leaf puff
Main Course: Duck breast, muscovado and coffee glaze, foie gras with peanut and yuzu, pak choi, black radish, fragrant steamed leg and neck soup
Dessert: Roasted banana in lapsang tea caramel, crystallized coriander and condensed milk ice cream
Craig Beacham – Sous Chef, The Elephant Restaurant & Brassiere
Semi-final menu – Canapés: Caramelised onion with Hereford snails and wild garlic; Salsify infused with lemon, smoked lemon and thyme; Beetroot samosa with truffle and Vulscombe goats cheese
Main Course: Roasted Crediton duck breast, celeriac purée, baby fondant potatoes, bok choi with duck pastilla and spice jus
Dessert: Warm banana and pecan pudding with brown bread ice cream
Richard Edwards – Head Chef, Park Restaurant, Lucknam Park Hotel
Semi-final menu – Canapés: Beef Tartar, Egg yolk puree, crispy shallots; Smoked haddock and parsley fishcake; Crab gougeres
Main Course: Slow cooked breast of duck, butternut squash, buttered spinach, duck sausage, orange and sherry jelly
Dessert: A selection of banana with chocolate sorbet, caramel sauce
Joe McCafferty – Senior Chef de Partie, ROKA Restaurant
Semi-final menu – Canapés: Spicy pollock roe tempura; Scallop sashimi; Pan fried kombu cured foie gras
Main Course: Duck in yuzu kosho with roasted brown rice, grilled takenoko, cucumber and coriander salad, yuzu foam
Dessert: Banana and hazelnut filo kushi, green tea dango, genmaicha sorbet and banana-vanilla milkshake
Frederick Forster- Head Chef, Nuovo Restaurant
Semi-final menu – Canapés: Chorizo pinwheel with quail egg; Beaufort chesse and vegetable croquette; Smoked salmon and crab pillows
Main Course: Canard De Dondes with potato Sarladaise, celeriac cream, glazed vegetable and prune sauce
Dessert: Caramelized banana custard tart with banana-passion fruit sorbet
David Bush- Senior Chef de Partie, House of Commons
Semi-final menu – Canapés: Taste of the seaside
Main Course: Slow cooked Lancashire Goosnargh duck
Dessert: Banana ‘Snickers’ bar
Winning the title is an outstanding achievement and the tremendous prize package up for grabs, worth in excess of £15,000, is a true reflection of that. Aside from being awarded the esteemed title of The National Chef Of The Year, the winner will receive a host of top-class prizes 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 include a money-can’t-buy masterclass with Marco Pierre White, courtesy of headline sponsor Knorr. Whilst Electrolux is offering The National Chef of the Year 2011 the equipment from the competition theatre used to prepare the winning dishes.
The Craft Guild of Chefs is the largest UK chefs association with members worldwide in foodservice and hospitality, from students and trainees to top management working everywhere from Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.
Catering equipment suppliers Lockhart, Unilever’s largest brand Knorr, and one of the global leaders in appliances for professional use, Electrolux, are the headline sponsors at this year’s event. Continental Chef Supplies (CCS), Churchill China, Blue Arrow Catering and Blend, RARE, Gourmet Classic, Barry Callebaut, Adande, Reynolds, Pommery and The Restaurant Show are also lending their support to the competition and contributing to the prize package.
The National Chef of the Year 2011
The National Chef of the Year competition, which is now in its 39th year, is open to all chefs who are 23 years or older as of 1st April 2011 and who work in any sector of the catering industry; this includes hotels, restaurants, pubs, universities and contract caterers.
Celebrating the multicultural nature of the UK is the key aim of the competition and the revised format, which was introduced last year, is certainly helping to showcase that desire. This year the categories have been divided up as follows:
• Asian / Oriental
• Modern British / European
• Rest of the World / Other
Atul Kochhar, Michelin-starred chef and chef patron of world renowned Benares Restaurant, and Chris Galvin, chef patron of the Michelin-starred ‘Galvin at Windows’ at the London Hilton on Park Lane, are among the ambassador judges casting watchful eyes over the talent at the event.
“I’m delighted to be a part of this prestigious culinary competition once again,” said Atul. “The opportunity for chefs to showcase their ability is of vital importance to the growth of our industry.”
“The National Chef of the Year really pushes competitors to the limit and helps chefs realise their ambition,” added Chris. “It is a true lesson in excellence, an opportunity to showcase their talent and above all the ultimate award in the world of chefs. You will be privileged enough to earn peer respect, inspire others and make lifelong friends.”
For more information visit www.craftguildofchefs.org.