Winner crowned in BCF Chef of the Year final

16 April 2014

Head chef Adam Handling has been crowned overall winner of the British Culinary Federation’s (BCF) Chef of the Year Award 2014, after completing the final stage of the competition on Monday 7 April.

Winner crowned in BCF Chef of the Year finalDuring the final, a live cook-off, he and the nine other finalists were tasked with preparing a three course meal for two covers. Although allowed to devise their own menu, the main course dish had to feature two cuts of lamb which the competitors had prepared in the earlier butchery round of the competition.

Adam’s winning menu was: Salmon, Pea, Dill and Apple to start; Cannon of Lamb and a Lamb Neck Fillet, Cauliflower and Pickled Savoy as a main, followed by a Rice Puff, Chocolate, Caramel and Orange dessert.

The competitors’ skills were judged by an impressive line-up of top chefs including: Alain Roux, Ashley Palmer Watts, Brian Turner CBE, Simon Hulstone and Laurent Bouvier, along with Master of Culinary Arts (MCA) Roger Narbett, and winner of the 2012 competition, Simon Webb.

Alain Roux commented that many of the chefs had taken risks and challenged themselves but only a few had mastered the techniques and flavour. He said: "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”.

Having begun his career as a chef aged only 16, Adam now oversees a 22-strong brigade. One of his strengths is his meticulous attention to quality control across every detail of his menu. He believes in sourcing the finest ingredients when they are at their absolute best and is committed to serving delicious, creative dishes that inspire and excite.

Adam was presented with his award at a gala dinner which took place at University College Birmingham. As the fourteenth winner of the BCF Chef of the Year Award, Adam received a cheque for £2,500 and has been offered the opportunity to join the English National Culinary Team on an all-expenses paid trip to Luxemburg in November 2014. Second place was awarded to Byron Franklin and third place was awarded to Nick Evans.

Peter Griffiths, president of the British Culinary Federation, said: "With the introduction of 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.”

Dick van Leeuwen, business development manager for EBLEX, said: "EBLEX is proud to be associated with this competition which recognises and rewards high standards, innovation and ambition. All of the finalists worked extremely hard and performed well throughout the competition. Adam impressed the judges throughout and it was a pleasure to be able to present him with the BCF Chef of the Year Award 2014”.

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