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Masterchef Professional’s Adam Handling wins BCF Chef of the Year 2014

Adam Handling, Masterchef Professional 2013 runner-up, has been crowned 2014 British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year at an industry Awards Dinner held at University College Birmingham on Monday 7th April.

As the 14th winner of the competition, Adam joins an elite group of past winners and Michelin starred chefs which includes Simon Hulstone, Luke Tipping, Richard Turner and Bocuse d’Or candidate Adam Bennett.

Sponsored by Aubrey Allen and EBLEX, Adam received the award from our Managing Director Russell Allen and Dick Van Leeuwen of EBLEX, together with a cheque for £2,500 and the opportunity to join the squad of the English National Culinary Team in Luxembourg this November at the Culinary World Cup.

Adam from St Ermin’s Hotel, London, impressed the celebrity line-up of judges with his culinary talents. Judges included Alain Roux, The Waterside Inn; Ashley Palmer Watts, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal; Roger Narbett MCA, Chairman of Judges; Simon Hulstone, The Elephant Restaurant, Torquay; 2012 winner Simon Webb, CH&Co, London; Laurent Bouvier, President, Les Toques Blanches Lyonnaises and Fréderic Berthod of Les Toques Blanches Lyonnaises.

Alain Roux commented that many of the chefs had taken risks and challenged themselves but only a few had mastered the techniques and flavour. “Adam mastered the cooking, seasoning and flavour of the lamb. His seasonality of ingredients and the balance of flavour made him a clear winner.”

Ashley Palmer Watts said, “Out of the ten chefs, three stood out as the best cooks. Adam’s menu was a clear winner with two standout dishes”.

Adam was one of ten leading chefs to reach the live final cook off, which was compèred and judged under the watchful eye of TV celebrity chef, Brian Turner CBE. Following the semi-final in January, the winning finalists had to attend a Butchery Masterclass at Aubrey Allen in Coventry followed by a photo shoot at the Food and Drink Expo, NEC on the EBLEX stand at the show. The showcase experience enabled the chefs to enhance their butchery skills and learn more about preparing inspiring and innovative cuts of meat in preparation of the final. The marks from their butchery skills were carried forward to the final cook off.

All ten chefs were tasked with producing a three course meal for two covers which centred on using two different cuts of Lamb which they had chosen from the butchery competition.

Adam’s menu of Salmon, Pea, Dill, Apple, Lamb, Cauliflower, Pickled Savoy, Rice Puff, Chocolate, Caramel, Orange was a clear winner according to the judges.

Runner-up was Byron Franklin from Clare College, Cambridge and third was Nick Evans from Middlethorpe Hall, York.

Competition organiser and BCF President Peter Griffiths said, “With the butchery element and the opportunity to join the National Team, this competition continues to attract some of the industry’s best. The standards we have seen this year have been a credit to all concerned.”

FINALISTS

  • Adam Handling, St Ermin’s Hotel, London
  • Byron Franklin - Clare College, Cambridge
  • Carlos Martinez - The Stafford Kempinski, London
  • Dez Turland - Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon
  • Imthiaz Kader – The Chelsea Harbour Hotel, London
  • James Buckley - The Genuine Dining Co
  • Keiron Stevens - Michael Wignall at The Latymer, Pennyhill Park
  • Keith Hooker - Restaurant Associates, Compass Group, London
  • Mathew Shropshall - University College Birmingham
  • Nick Evans - Middlethorpe Hall, York

The competition followed a celebratory lunch at Pure Bar & Kitchen to commemorate the re-signing of a Certificate of Agreement between the British Culinary Federation and Les Toques Blanches Lyonnaises which took place in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour, Birmingham Council House. The agreement is a working relationship and further strengthens the links between both organisations in the twinned cities of Birmingham and Lyon.