9th August 2008
Simon Hulstone wins National Chef of the Year
Simon Hulstone, Chef Proprietor of The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay has won the National Chef of the Year contest.
The exciting final kicked off at The Restaurant Show yesterday at London's Earls Court. Hulstone created a dish from the mystery basket, which was revealed on Monday.The winning chef is described by the judges as "…someone who demonstrates exceptional technical skill and produces food with flavour, texture, balance and style that is second-to-none. He or she will also be commercial, practical, efficient and well organised."In second place came Clark Crawley, Sous Chef at Barclays Wealth, London, and following closely behind in third place was David Kennedy, Chef Proprietor of Black Door Restaurant in Newcastle.Simon'swinning menu consisted of:Starter – Low temperature egg with toffee pea cream and black pudding croquetteFish Course – Steamed grey mullet with crab and chilli mousse, mussels and citrus butter sauceMain Course – Loin of rabbit with savoy cabbage and parsnip pureeDessert – Date pudding with salted butter caramel ice creamThe judging panel awarded Clark Crawleyfor creating the best starter, Steve Allen, Head Chef of London's Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's was praised forthe bestfish course, David Kennedywas applauded forhisbest main course, and Simon Hulstone,Chef Proprietor of The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay, was congratulated for devising the best dessert.David Mulcahy, Vice President Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “We have experienced a phenomenal day with each and every one of the eight finalists giving it their all in this, the climax of the KNORR National Chef of the Year 2008 competition."However, there can only be one winner and the judges’ decision was unanimous. Simon delivered an outstanding menu under the pressurised spotlight only competition conditions bring, and our heartfelt congratulations go out to him on his tremendous victory.” Simon Marshall, Managing Director Unilever Foodsolutions, added: “Once again we mark the result of another fantastic competition – the skill, talent and passion that we have witnessed throughout the semi-finals and today’s grand final has been truly awe inspiring. I am delighted to congratulate Simon on his well-deserved win on behalf of KNORR and Unilever Foodsolutions.”The mystery basket ingredients included:Rabbit 2 x Grey Mullet 500g Mussels 4 x Corn-fed Chicken Legs 100g Streaky Bacon 4 x Large Potatoes 4 x Large Parsnips 500g Pumpkin 1 x Savoy Cabbage 4 x Portobello Mushrooms 1 x Celeriac 1 x Bag of Baby Spinach 3 x Chillies 1 x Lemon GrassThe eight finalists were:• David Kennedy, Chef Proprietor of Black Door Restaurant in Newcastle• Steve Allen, Head Chef of London's Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's• Frederick Forster, Head Chef, Le Boudin Blanc, London• Clark Crawley, Sous Chef at Barclays Wealth, London• Simon Hulstone, Chef Proprietor of The Elephant Restaurant in Torquay• Ian Boden, Head Chef at Limes Restaurant, Derby• Andreas Wingert, Senior Sous Chef at Lucknam Park Hotel, Colerne, Wiltshire• Brian Canale, Head Chef at Heritage Portfolio, EdinburghSimon will now receive a cheque for £10,000 along with a trip to Italy courtesy of equipment sponsors, Electrolux, and a study trip to the Champagne region of France with Pommery.Past winners of the competition, run by the Craft Guild of Chefs and sponsored by KNORR, include Steve Love, Mark Sargeant and Gordon Ramsay.For more images of Simon's win click here.