The ten chefs who have made the final for The Craft Guild of Chefs’ National Chef of the Year competition have now been revealed.
Significant changes were made to the competition to ensure that despite the pandemic, chefs had the opportunity to win one of the industry’s most sought-after culinary title.
After 40 chefs were selected last month, the judges have now whittled them down to ten for a cook-off at Le Cordon Bleu, London next month.
The ten chefs making the final are:
- Derek Johnstone, head chef, Borthwick Castle, East Lothian
- Fraser Bruce, head chef, Fraser Bruce @ The Fish Shed, St Ives
- Nathan Cornwell, head chef, The Barn at Moor Hall, Ormskirk
- Sarah-Jasmina Moussabih, head chef, Finnish Embassy, London
- Marcin Pomierny, head chef, The Maids Head Hotel Limited, Norwich
- April Lily Partridge, chef, The Ledbury, London
- Nick Smith, head chef, Vacherin / Ashurst, London
- Dominic South, head chef, Corinthia Hotel, London
- Ben Drake, senior sous chef, The Elephant by Simon Hulstone, Torquay
- Thomas Swaby, senior sous chef, Roux At Parliament Square, London
With the semi-final cook-offs unable to take place this year, the finalists were selected by taking into consideration the marks from both the entry stage and the dishes which summed them up in just two to three bites.
Both rounds of the competition were judged by a separate panel of judges, with the final decision on who went through made by chair of judges Paul Ainsworth and organiser of the competition, David Mulcahy.
To take the title next month, chefs will have to impress Paul Ainsworth, chef patron at Paul Ainsworth Collection, Clare Smyth MBE, chef patron at Core by Clare Smyth, Niall Keating, executive chef at Whatley Manor and Claude Bosi from Bibendum Restaurant in Chelsea.
The actual cook-off takes place on the 7th September at Le Cordon Bleu but the format for the final has been reinvented with the streaming of an hour-long show during Hospitality Week that offers insights into how chefs have navigated this challenging year.
Organiser of the competition, David Mulcahy, said: “There is no doubt that finding a way to make sure the National Chef of the Year competition could still go ahead has been challenging. But as organisers, we have always remained determined to ensure the competition’s heritage could be maintained and that the industry had a positive success story to come out of this. Chefs have faced some real battles along the way, even to put an entry in, but we have seen huge resilience, determination and passion from these chefs to turn adversity into positivity.”