8th March 2010
Semi finalists announced for the Craft Guild of Chefs' National Chef of the Year 2010
The countdown has begun for the final of the Craft Guild of Chefs 2010 National Chef of the Year (NCOTY) contest.
The judges have whittled down the overwhelming number of entries and the semi finalists are now set to compete in a series of four cook offs at Westminster Kingsway College on Monday, September 13, and Thursday, September 16.Each heat will concentrate on one of the new categories: Asian/Oriental; Modern British/Irish; European (Continental, Central and Eastern, Scandinavian and Mediterranean); and African, the Americas and Australia.The change in format of the competition, initiated to encourage entries across all ethnicities, has created an outstanding selection of talent specialising in a host of different cuisines, says the Craft Guild.David Mulcahy, director of competitions for the Guild, comments: "We've been thrilled with both the number and quality of all the entries received this year. Demonstrated by the number of entries that fell into the different categories, and the great names we've seen entering from such a diverse audience, the new format has certainly been embraced."We're all too aware how the economic downturn we're experiencing has impacted on each and everyone of us, and we're delighted that competitions such as this are still able to focus the mind and enable chefs time to concentrate on what they love – cooking. If we can allow chefs the opportunity to push themselves to their limits, and beyond, we're fulfilling our commitment to supporting them and encouraging them to learn and aspire to be the best."Stephen Scuffell, the Guild's co-ordinator of NCOTY and one of the key judges at this initial stage, adds: "It goes without saying that the level and commitment of those that enter National Chef of the Year is always high, but I was astonished at the quality and skill that this year's entries have shown and it was an extremely hard task to agree on the semi finalists."Whether this is due to the different cooking styles we've tapped into, only the semi finals will tell, but it's been an honour to read the entries that have been submitted this year. I wish all those that have got through to the semi finals the best of luck; and for those that didn't, enter again next year as it really was a tightly fought race."The finalists from the four heats will go through to compete at the live final at the Restaurant Show, Earls Court, London, on Monday, October 11.The semi finalists for this year's National Chef of the Year title are:Simon Atkinson, unit caterer, Royal MarinesMark Aust, head chef, ArtizanChristopher Bell, head chef, HeathcotesAdam Bennett, head chef, Simpsons RestaurantLee Bennett, executive chef, Le Pont de la TourIan Boden, area development chef, WilsonvaleMark Budd, executive head chef, Stafford HotelDavid Bush, House of CommonsBrian Canale, head chef, Heritage PortfolioSimon Christery-French, sous chef, Pearl RestaurantClark Crawley, head chef, Restaurant AssociatesHrishikest Desai, brasserie head chef, Lucknam Park HotelRichard Edwards, senior sous chef, Lucknam Park HotelFrederick Forster, head chef, 44 Restaurant and LoungeJustin Galea, executive sous chef, TurnberryChris James Golding, sous chef, Zuma RestaurantHayden Groves, executive chef, Lloyds of LondonJim Hamilton, head chef, FairyhillDean Heselden, head chef, London Clubs InternationalImthiaz Kader, head chef, Park Plaza Westminster BridgeSelin Kiazim, senior chef de partie, The ProvidoresPalash Mitra, curry chef, The Cinnamon ClubRobert Oberhoffer, restaurant owner, The Dove RestaurantChristopher Oddie, head chef, Mitie Catering and The Irish ClubGrzegorz Olejarka, head chef, Brooklands HotelSudha Shankar, executive chef, SaffronHansel Sheldon Fonseca, sous chef, Gordon Ramsay HoldingsKuldeep Singh, sous chef, Benares Restaurant & BarAshley Spencer, lecturer in culinary arts, Westminster Kingsway CollegeRobert Stordy, corporate chef lecturer, University of Derby (Buxton Campus)Lionel Strub, head chef/owner, Fennel RestaurantDez Turland, group development chef, Brend HotelsSimon Webb, head chef, Restaurant AssociatesNick Whatmough, head chef, Restaurant AssociatesAndy Wilcock, head chef, Cucina RestaurantsAndrew Wong, chef, Bumbles RestaurantTerry Wright, head chef, Compass GroupVadivelloo Yogaeshwaran, sous chef, Riverbank Park Plaza HotelFor further information, visit www.craftguildofchefs.org and click on the link to National Chef of the Year or contact Clair Bowman on 01293 610329 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgWords: Sheila Eggleston