Russell Bateman named National Chef of the Year 2014

The competition was held on 7 October at The Restaurant Show

Colette’s at The Grove head chef Russell Bateman won the Craft guild of Chefs’ National Chef of the Year award last night (7 October) after a heated competition held during the Restaurant Show.

A panel of judges including Philip Howard, Clare Smyth, Marcus Wareing, Jason Atherton, Brett Graham, Monica Galetti, Hideko Kawa, Julie Walsh and David Mulcahy, vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, praised his creativity and professionalism.

Speaking to BigHospitality after the win, he said: “Cooking for all these chefs was kind of the fuel that fired me, to impress them. Winning feels fantastic.”

Bateman’s winning menu consisted of oyster panna cotta with scallop tartare and celeriac, roasted veal sweetbreads and garam masala with cream girolles, turnip and a black garlic puree and dessert of three different kinds of chocolate with marshmallows and tuiles.

He takes over the title from Hayden Groves, executive chef at Baxter Storey.

Second place went to Daniel Morgan, sous-chef at The Square in London, and third went to Nick Edgar, head chef at the Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons.

Diane Camp, development chef for Reynolds, won the best presentation award, elected by social media users.

Other finalists included Andrew Gotting, executive group head chef at Galloping Gourmet, Lahiru Jayasekara, head chef at the Manor at Weston on the Green, Adam Handling, head chef at Adam Handling at Caxton and Simon Webb, head chef at Restaurant Associates.

Howard, who chaired the panel of judges, said: “This year was undoubtedly the best one so far in terms of consistency and quality. Cooking is in a good place in this country, and judging from today, things will continue to get better and better.”

Young National Chef of the Year

The Restaurant Show’s competition theatre was also the stage of the Young National Chef of the Year cook-off yesterday, which crowned Luke Selby, junior sous-chef at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons.

James Goodyear, sous-chef at the same restaurant, finished second, and third place went to Spencer Metzger, chef de partie at the Ritz, London.

Judges for the junior competition included Ben Tish, Brian Turner, 2013 National Chef of the Year Hayden Groves, and Young National Chef of the Year ambassador Mark Sargeant.

All contestants were under 23 and had two hours to produce a menu including their choice of starter, a main featuring black cod, and a twist on chocolate fondant for dessert.

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