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10 Leading chefs head for Hotelympia for Chef of the Year final

Bob Spring and Simon Smith of Aubrey Allen with Hugh Judd of Eblex and 9 of the 10 finalists.

Ten leading UK chefs have won a place in the final of the 2012 British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year competition, which is being held at Hotelympia on Monday 27 February.

The chance of winning one of the industry’s most coveted titles follows an intense semi-final cook off, as well as attending a 'Masterclass' with Aubrey Allen, the competition’s founder and sponsor.

At the masterclass event Hugh Judd, EBLEX foodservice project manager and joint sponsor of the competition, announced that the Cap/Picanha muscle from the rump would be the cut presented to the chefs at the live Final at Hotelympia.

The chefs are now gearing up for the final to be compered by celebrity chef Brian Turner, when they will have just two hours to produce a three course meal for two covers using Aubrey’s Dry Aged Beef.

Their culinary talents will be scrutinised by judges Raymond Blanc (Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons), Alain Roux (The Waterside Inn), Ashley Palmer-Watts (Fat Duck & Dinner by Heston Blumenthal), Roger Narbett (MOGB and Chairman of Judges), Matt Cheal (Simpsons Restaurant) and Idris Caldora (Academy of Culinary Arts).

The winner will receive a cheque for £2500 together with the title of BCF Chef of the Year 2012.

At Aubrey Allen’s Masterclass the chefs were welcomed by BCF Vice president Andreas Antona who explained why he feels it’s so important to connect with suppliers and to fully understand why we produce such great beef here in the UK.

The event then commenced with a presentation from Aubrey Allen’s Simon Smith on understanding the difference between suckler and dairy herds, the environment in which cattle are raised in, along with how carcass selection and maturation enhances the best beef.

Chefs were given a guided tour of Aubrey Allen and Michael Perkins demonstrated his craftsmanship by butchering a lamb into many inspiring and innovative cuts.

It was then down to sharpening the knives under the guidance of Master Butcher Bob Spring, as each chef broke a Quality Assured rump of Aubrey’s Dry Aged Beef into the separate muscles.

As Bob Spring explained: "It's really important for chefs to understand the way the grain of the meat runs, and where the interconnective tissue sits."

Finalist Adam Smith, Sous Chef at the Ritz Hotel in London commented: "A great inspirational day, which really got the mind working with so many ideas!

Chef Simon Webb from Restaurant Associates another finalist also summed up the Masterclass as “A great day with great ethos."

The finalists

1. Michael Tweedie, Lucknam Park Hotel, Bath
2. Byron Franklin, Pembroke College, Cambridge
3. Sheldon Fonseca, The Dorchester Hotel, London
4. Raymond Thomson, Stirling Management Centre, Scotland
5. Carlos Martinez, Cliveden House, Taplow
6. Colin Layfield, Paramount Restaurant, London
7. Adam Simmonds, Danesfield House Hotel, Marlow
8. Simon Webb, Restaurant Associates, Merrill Lynch, London
9. Adam Smith, The Ritz Hotel, London
10. Dez Turland, Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon

See for yourself Master Butcher Bob Spring bone out the rump of beef at:
http://bit.ly/ydxWwo

For further information:
EBLEX: www.eblex.org.uk