Kikkoman masters 20

Champing at the bit – Young National Chef of the Year

A young working chef from The Elephant, Torquay proved his worth as a star in the making by winning the biggest annual competition for those considered the industry’s most promising talent.

Ben was one of just eight young chefs in the UK to reach the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Young National Chef of the Year final at yesterday’s (8th October) Restaurant Show at London’s Earls Court, which ran parallel to the edge-of-your-seat final of The National Chef of the Year.

Impressing a judging panel including Mark Sargeant, proprietor of Rocksalt in Folkestone and Gordon Ramsay’s former right hand man, Ben got the nod of approval with:

  • A sensational starter of Fallow Deer, Burnt Onion, Pickled Apple and Beets with Roasted Grapes
  • An outstanding main of Rack of Turbot, Parsnip, Lardo Iberico, Fennel Pollen, Crisp Sweetbreads, Golden Sultanas, and Verjus Butter Sauce

An exquisite dessert of Cherry Bakewell, Cherry Vinegar, Yogurt and Wood Sorrel

First runner up was Ruth Hansom (The Ritz) followed by Daniel Akrigg (Rogan & Company).

Mark Sargeant, who was invited to become the competition’s first ambassador to inspire the next generation of ‘ones to watch’ and is himself a past winner of the Craft Guild of Chefs’ National Chef of the Year, said: “Ben demonstrated that he not only has the flair and passion to make a real mark in the industry, but understands fundamental cooking skills, the first and foremost ingredient to success in the kitchen. He worked tirelessly from the moment he walked into the kitchen remaining focussed throughout with well timed and placed dishes.”

David Mulcahy, competition organiser and vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, agreed with Mark, paying tribute to chairman of judges Steve Munkley and fellow judges Brian Turner, Ben Tish, Paul Foster, Christopher Basten and Alyn Williams. “It was a challenge deciding on a winner from such a strong group of young chefs,” he said. “All the finalists proved their ability to compete at this level and I am sure will go on to enjoy success in their careers.”

The format of Craft Guild of Chefs Young National Chef of the Year, in partnership with Knorr, was revised this year to reflect the fact that many more organisations were keen to be involved, opening the competition up to more young chefs across the UK.

Open to chefs aged 18-23, the Craft Guild of Chefs this year picked just four chefs to automatically go through to the grand final, whilst the remaining four places were fought for in a series of semi finals by winners made up of young chefs from industry wide competitions.

For more information on entering next year’s competition, visit , call 01293 610 329 or follow @TNCOTY #YNCOTY on Twitter.

*Young National Chef of the Year 2013 was in partnership with Knorr and in association with Lockhart Catering Equipment and Churchill.*

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