BCF Young Chef of the Year 2017


DSC_1880Luke Turner of Simpson’s Restaurant, Edgbaston, Birmingham was crowned the winner of the British Culinary Federation’s Young Chef of the Year 2017 held at University College Birmingham on Monday 6th November.

This is the second year running that Simpsons have won this prestigious and well-attended competition.

Both the morning and afternoon heats with eight finalists in each were full of fierce competition, highlighting excellent skills and innovative dishes.  Joe Payne of Restaurant André Garrett, Cliveden House, Berkshire was runner-up, with Christina Welz from Hambleton Hall, Oakham, Rutland and Chris Mee from L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria tying for third place.

DSC_4271Awards were also presented for Best Starter, Main Course and Dessert. Jacob Major from Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe picked up the award for his starter; best main course went to Rhys McCausland, Palace of Westminster London with Christine Welz winning the award for the best dessert.

Competition organiser and BCF President Peter Griffiths, who announced the awards, presented by BCF Honorary President Brian Cotterill, said that the BCF Young Chef of the Year continues to attract interest from many renowned establishments who between them this year accumulated nine Michelin stars.  This year’s final was without a doubt the highest standard we have seen in the 20 years of running this competition. The quality of these young people’s cooking was exceptional, they were a credit to themselves and the industry.

Competitors had two hours to produce a three-course meal for two covers, highlighting British produce and with one course having to include fish/shellfish.  They also had to use at least one product from the Major International range.

Finalists were:

Luke Turner, Simpson’s restaurant, Edgbaston

Matthew Nicholls, Cheal’s of Henley

Amrita Phull, Buckland Manor, Broadway, Worcs

Monty Stonehewer, Hampton Manor, Hampton-in-Arden

Michael Topping, Harborne Kitchen, Birmingham

Callum Wood, North Warwickshire & Hinckley College

Elliot Lawn, University College Birmingham

Megan Connor, The Lewis Partnership, The Red Lion, Stafford

Christine Welz, Hambleton Hall, Oakham, Rutland

Chris Mee, L’Enclume, Cartmel

Rhys McCausland, The Palace of Westminster, London

Toby Hull, Gidleigh Park Hotel, Newton Abbott

Nathan Lane, The Ritz Hotel, London

Jacob Major, Manor House Golf Club and Hotel, Castle Combe, Wilts

Joe Payne, Restaurant Andre Garrett, Cliveden House, Berks

James Toth, The Cross, Kenilworth

As well as receiving the David Bache Trophy, Luke was presented with a cheque for £250, commemorative plate, framed certificate, a special dispenser presented by Wrapmaster, a personalised chef’s jacket sponsored by CCS, an invitation to Aubrey Allen’s new Butchery Academy and to a celebration lunch, courtesy of Villeroy & Boch, plus automatic seeding into the National Young Chef of the Year 2018.

The Awards Dinner was attended by over 80 industry guests.  Thanks to Chef’s Butcher, Aubrey Allen for sponsoring the Duck for the main course and to University College Birmingham for their hospitality and the use of their excellent facilities.

DSC_4245Over the years, this competition, sponsored by Major International, Bidfood, Beacon Design, Interfruit, Wrapmaster and Villeroy & Boch, has discovered some incredible talent and continues to attract a host of young chefs from a diverse range of establishments around the UK.

Judges this year were Idris Caldora MCA, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Chef Adopt A School; Stuart McCloud, Chef Director, Zuidam Ltd; Andy Waters, Chef Patron, Restaurant Andy Waters, Resort World, NEC; Peter Joyner, Food Development Director, Elior; Martin Carabott, current BCF Chef of the Year, Luca restaurant, London and Giovanni Di Vito, Assistant Dean, Culinary Arts, College of Food, UCB, Birmingham.



Cauliflower, spelt, coastal herbs, pickled seaweed



Black garlic, carrot, chanterelles, chicken jus



Blackberry sorbet, White Lake sheep’s curd, marigold


Scallops – Ethical Shellfish, Isle of Mull
Chicken – Caldecott Farm, Wythall, Worcestershire
Cauliflower, Romanesco, Baby Carrots, Blackberries – Daylesford, Oxfordshire
Salads – Westlands, Evesham
Apples – Andreas Antona Orchard, Kenilworth
Spelt – Sharpham Park, Somerset
Garlic – Isle of Wight
Sheep’s Curd – White Lake, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
Chanterelles – Wyre Forest, Worcestershire