BCF Young Chef of the Year 2011

Kristian Curtis, who works under Chef Patron Andreas Antona at Michelin Starred Simpsons Restaurant, Birmingham was recently crowned British Culinary Federation Young Chef of the Year 2011 at a dinner and impressive ceremony attended by 100 industry guests at University College Birmingham.

Kristian Curtis

Kristian Curtis

Kristian commented: “I am in a bit of shock really, but I was pretty confident in what I did. It was a hard competition and a real honour to win,”

In second place was Aaron Darnley of Edmund’s Restaurant, Birmingham and third was Matthew Ambrose, Claridge’s Hotel, London.

BCF Young Chef Winner Kristian Curtis with runners up, BCF Chairman Jim Eaves, Hannah Bache who presented the trophy, and the sponsors.

BCF Young Chef Winner Kristian Curtis with runners up, BCF Chairman Jim Eaves, Hannah Bache who presented the trophy, and the sponsors.

15 finalists aged 23 years or under took part in an adrenalin-fuelled cook off at University College Birmingham’s Bonnet kitchen on Monday 14th November. The other finalists included: Harry Guy of Mallory Court, Warwickshire, Stephen Dick of Digbys Restaurant, Co Armagh, Thomas Downes of University College Birmingham, Richard West of Moat House, Acton Trussell, Steve Sparks of Saunton Sands Hotel, North Devon, Terry Tomlinson of Bournemouth & Pool College, Steven Allery of The Dorchester, London, Ross Farren of Aston Villa Football Club, Tom Phillips of The Ritz, London, Luke Haddow of Nuthurst Grange, Warwickshire, Sam Greenway of Opus Restaurant, Birmingham and Todd Simms of Tuddenham Mill, Norfolk

Competitors had to create a three course meal for two persons, incorporating a starter to competitor’s choice using any under-utilised sustainable fish, a main course using British Pork and a sweet of their own choice.

Kristian’s winning menu was: Fillet of Zander, ceps, celeriac, baby gem lettuce, cep veloute; Roast fillet of Lincolnshire pork, black pudding bon-bon, butternut squash, chestnuts, dried fruits, Brussels sprouts, sage and caper jus; Chai tea pannacotta, mango compote, coconut sorbet.

Competition organiser Peter Griffiths MBE said it was a fantastic competition with very high standards, with three of its finalists taking fine dining to another level. “It’s incredibly difficult to cook for such an esteemed judging panel when you are so young. Over the years, we have seen some extraordinary young chefs go through this competition and go on to achieve high standards within our industry. It is very encouraging to see the standard of food getting better each year.”

The judges were Eric Bruce, Chef Patron, Restaurant Severn in Ironbridge, Shropshire, Jerry Toth, Operations Director, Sundial Group, Glynn Purnell Chef Patron of Michelin Starred, Purnell’s, in Birmingham, Colin Layfield, Executive Chef at Paramount, London and Jason Eaves, Head Chef at The Asquith in Birmingham.

As well as receiving The David Bache Trophy, presented by David’s daughter, Hannah Bache, Kristian was also presented with a cheque for £200, a trip to Luxembourg, a personalised chef’s jacket, framed certificate and commemorative plate from Villeroy & Boch.

Over the years, the annual competition, sponsored by Gourmet Classic, Hobart, Major International and supported by Villeroy & Boch, has discovered some incredible talent, attracting a host of young chefs from top hotels, restaurants and prestigious catering venues throughout the UK.

Last year’s winner was Rositsa Nikolova,from the House of Commons, while previous BCF Young Chef of the Year winners have included Helen Evans of Michelin starred restaurant Simpsons in Birmingham, Marcus Eaves from Michelin starred restaurant’s, L’Autre Pied and Pied a Terre, London; Ben Ternent of Opus Restaurant, Birmingham; Daniel Morris, Michelin starred restaurant, The Elephant in Torquay and Sue Ellis from Belle House, who has appeared on Channel 4 cookery programmes and had recipes featured in the Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook.