In the closest competition the Craft Guild of Chefs has ever seen, Alex Angelogiannis of The Glenturret Restaurant by Lalique has taken the title of National Chef of the Year. Finalists showcased their skills in an intense cook-off at the University of West London under the eyes of some of the leading names in hospitality.
The impressive list of judges was a ‘Who’s Who’ in the culinary world including Kenny Atkinson, Matt Abe, James Petrie, Anna Haugh, Brett Graham, Tom Shepherd and Phil Howard.
To take the title, Alex served up a starter of Line caught mackerel, guts and all. His main course was a best end of Lumina lamb, rib, Coppa and offal dolma, followed by a dessert of Valrhona chocolate & beetroot, lovage and brambles.
The runner-up spot was clinched by Matthew Smith from Inver Restaurant whilst Cleverson Cordeiro of Frog by Adam Handling finished in third. The much-anticipated results were announced this evening at a glittering awards ceremony at the iconic Hippodrome in Leicester Square.
After the challenging task of selecting the winner, Kenny Atkinson said: “I knew this was going to be an incredible final, but it’s exceeded all my expectations. Knowing how hard it was for us to select the finalists, picking a winner was never going to be an easy task and today all the chefs have cooked from their hearts and shown incredible skill. Winning meant so much to every single one of these chefs but Alex’s high scores from our judges put him in that much sought-after top spot. I’ll be following his journey over the next year and am confident he will be an incredible ambassador for the competition and wider industry.”
Whilst the title of National Chef of the Year is the prize that every chef is after, the competition is about so much more as the Craft Guild of Chefs aims to help develop and nurture the winner and provide culinary opportunities like no other.
Essential Cuisine and Lumina will be taking the top three on a two-day culinary trip to Liverpool. This experience will include visits to a local distillery, a regional independent supplier and a masterclass by one of the UK’s leading chefs, Paul Askew, followed by a private dining experience at his restaurant, The Art School. Further dining takes place at Paul’s 2nd restaurant, Barnacle, set in the famous Duke Street Market.These chefs will also be whisked away on a culinary experience in the heart of London which will include 3 Michelin-Star dining and an overnight stay thanks to CCS.
The prizes also include £500 and one year of membership courtesy of the Craft Guild of Chefs; an incredible two-day French experience visiting the Cité du Chocolat – the much talked about Valrhona factory; £500 to spend on the products of their choice in the Continental Chef Supplies (CCS) catering equipment range; an exclusively designed and framed winners’ plate as well as £500 worth of Churchill products and a magnum of Champagne Collet from Hallgarten & Novum Wines.
Competition director and food innovation & sustainability director at Sodexo UK and Ireland, David Mulcahy added: “It might sound like a cliché, but this competition genuinely gets more and more impressive every year as we attract new culinary elite to enter. The brief set by Kenny Atkinson really got creative juices flowing for chefs and we’ve seen and tasted so many outstanding dishes today. Alex now joins that illustrious list of chefs and will be firmly embedded in hospitality history, following in the footsteps of former winners such as Gordan Ramsay, Simon Hulstone, Steve Groves and more recently Ben Murphy. The Craft Guild of Chefs will be supporting him over the next year as they celebrate this success.”