BCF Young Chef of the Year 2016


YCOTY2016_Winner_Matt_AntheaFrances Attwood was crowned the winner of the British Culinary Federation’s Young Chef of the Year 2016 held at University DSC_4372College Birmingham on Monday 7th November.

Frances, who works at the Michelin starred restaurant, Simpson’s in Birmingham, was elated with her win.

The 21-year-old, who is clearly someone to watch in the future, cooked in the second heat. Both heats were full of fierce competition, highlighting excellent skills and innovative dishes. Connor Blades of The Frog restaurant, London was runner-up, with Andreas Doukanaris from The Cross in Kenilworth, coming third.

Awards were also presented for Best Starter, Main Course and Dessert. Connor Blades picked up the award for his stunning starter; best main course was Frances Attwood, with Fraser Cooper from The Isle of Eriska Hotel, Argyll
winning the award for the best dessert.

Competition organiser and BCF President Peter Griffiths, who announced the awards, presented by BCF Chairman Matt Davies, said that the BCF Young Chef of the Year continues to attract interest from many renowned establishments and this year’s final was probably the highest standard we have seen in the 19 years of running this competition. Standards set were a credit to all the competitors and their mentors.

Competitors had two hours to produce a three-course meal for two covers, the first course had to include fish and the main course, duck. They also had to use at least one product from the Major International range. Finalists were:


  • Matthew Nicholls, Cheal’s of Henley-in-Arden
  • Fraser Cooper, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Argyll
  • Andreas Doukanaras, The Cross, Kenilworth
  • Harvey Perttola, Peel’s Restaurant, Hampton Manor
  • Richard Walter, Carter’s of Moseley
  • Eleanor De Maria, Compass Group UK & Ireland
  • Lewis O’Carroll, The Moat House, Acton Trussell
  • Connor Blades, The Frog Restaurant, London
  • Samuel Lambourne, The Stafford, London
  • Adam Shohet, The Ivy, London
  • Sophie Botting, The House of Commons, London
  • Joe Payne, Restaurant André Garrett, Cliveden House and Spa
  • Laura Elbourne, Gilpin Hotel and Lake House
  • Frances Attwood, Simpson’s Restaurant, Edgbaston
  • Edward Marsh, Lucknam Park, Wiltshire

As well as receiving the David Bache Trophy, Frances was presented with a cheque for £250, commemorative plate, framed certificate, Adam Handling’s Cookery book, “Smile or get out of the Kitchen”, a special dispenser presented by Wrapmaster, a personalised chef’s jacket sponsored by CCS and an invitation to a celebration lunch, courtesy of Villeroy & Boch.

The Awards Dinner was attended by 90 industry guests. Thanks to Chef’s Butcher, Aubrey Allen for sponsoring the Venison for the main course and to University College Birmingham for their hospitality and the use of their excellent facilities.

Over the years, this competition, sponsored by Major International, 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. This year was no exception, with seven Michelin starred establishments shortlisted to the final.

Judges were Idris Caldora MCA, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Chef Adopt A School; Stuart McCloud, Chef Director, Zuidam Ltd; Nick Vadis, Culinary Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland; Adam Handling, Chef Patron, The Frog restaurant, London; David Colcombe, Chef Consultant and Visiting Professor for Culinary Arts at UCB and Jerry Toth, Chef Director, Sundial Group.


Cornish Turbot
Hispi Cabbage, Avruga Caviar, Shellfish Sauce


Salsify, Apple, Hazelnut, Sherry Vinegar


Caramelised White Chocolate, Blackberry and Gingerbread