Golden opportunity for top UK chefs to shine
The hospitality industry will be lifting the clouds surrounding the sector by celebrating some of the best chefs in the industry.
Fifty years after the first-ever National Chef of the Year competition, 10 top chefs have been invited to take part in the competition celebrating its golden anniversary.
The final will take place at Le Cordon Bleu London on 19 September with the winner being revealed at a VIP event at The Berkeley, on the same evening.
The top 10 have been confirmed by this year’s Chair of Judges, Kenny Atkinson.
- Cleverson Cordeiro, head chef, Adam Handling Limited / Frog by Adam Handling, London
- Ben Drake, head chef, The Elephant Restaurant, Devon
- Iain Gourlay, head chef, Cringletie House Hotel, Scottish Borders
- Ashok Kumar, head chef, Atul Kochhar’s Hospitality Group, Petts Wood
- Ben Murphy, head chef, Launceston Place Restaurant, London
- April Lily Partridge, sous chef, The Ledbury, London
- Matthew Smith, head chef, Inver Restaurant & Rooms, Argyll & Bute
- Adam Smith, head chef, Gravetye Manor, West Sussex
- Gary Townsend, head chef, One Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow
- Grahame Wickham, head chef, The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst
What are the steps to becoming a professional chef?
Having a genuine love for food is a great start. Then there several ways to get going according to Le Cordon Bleu is a leading culinary school based in London and include:
- Obtaining a relevant school qualification, e.g. GSCE or A Level certification
- Joining a professional culinary school
- Passing your culinary school exams and earning a professional qualification
- Obtaining work experience in a professional kitchen
- Find a full-time job in a top restaurant
- Start at a pub kitchen, sometimes this experience can take you to the top
Commenting on the competition, Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and food innovation & sustainability director, Sodexo UK and Ireland, David Mulcahy commented: “The judges have been blown away at each stage of the competition and I’ve got a feeling that’s going to be the same in the final.”
Call for action on energy costs
The prestigious competition finale will come as organisations representing the UK hospitality sector have called on the Government to take urgent action as energy costs soar.
The five organisations, UK Hospitality, Night-Time Industries Association, the Music Venue Trust, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and the British Beer and Pub Association have written a joint open letter to highlight “rocketing energy prices” that are becoming “a matter of existential emergency”.
Those working in the sector are facing average annual bill increases in the region of at least 300 per cent, with their jobs and businesses being at “grave risk” as a result.
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality, explained: “Hundreds of hospitality businesses across the country are staring into an abyss of closure and possible failure, leading to thousands of job losses; so it’s now or never for government help and support if this vital sector is to survive the extraordinary threats pushing much of it to the very brink of existence.”
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