Young Chef of the Year 2019


Nathan Lane of The Cross, Kenilworth was named the winner of the British Culinary Federation’s Young Chef of the Year 2019 held at University College Birmingham on Monday 11th November. 

Both the morning and afternoon heats were full of fierce competition, highlighting excellent skills and innovative dishes.  Sam King of The Ritz, London was runner-up, with Luke Draper of Cheal’s of Henley coming third.

Awards were also presented for Best Starter, Main Course and Dessert. Luke picked up the award for his starter; best main course went to Nathan, with Sam winning the award for the best dessert.

Competition organiser and BCF President Peter Griffiths, who announced the awards, which were presented by BCF Chairman Stuart McLeod, said that the BCF Young Chef of the Year, now in its 22nd year, continues to attract interest from right across the industry, including many renowned establishments.  This year’s final once again highlighted the exceptional young talent we have working in the industry today. The quality of these young people’s cooking, along with the skills shown, was outstanding; they were a credit to themselves and the industry.

Competitors had two hours to produce a three-course meal for two covers, with the first course being suitable for a vegetarian, the main course using a Rib Eye of Irish Beef and a dessert of their choice.  They also had to use at least one product from the Major International range.  

Finalists were:

Ben Dullea Pomanos, London
Oliver Melford The Mermaid Inn, Rye
Benjamin Ferron The Frog, Hoxton, London
Angelina Adamo Simpsons, Birmingham
Samuel King The Ritz, London
Anna Wise Lumiere, Cheltenham
Theo Hadjitofi DeBanke Group, Warwickshire
William Venner The Boot Inn, Lapworth
Nathan Lane The Cross, Kenilworth
Amrita Phull Buckland Manor, Broadway
Armine Abdaoui House of Commons, London
Jas Bryan Opus, Birmingham
Luke Draper Cheal’s of Henley-in-Arden
Cameron McNally University College Birmingham
Karl Fontaine Hide, London


Glynn Purnell, Purnell’s restaurant, Birmingham
Paul Foster, Salt, Stratford-upon-Avon
Peter Joyner, Food Development Chef Director, Elior
Stuart McLeod, Chef Director, Zuidam
Idris Caldora MCA, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Chef Adopt-A-School
David Colcombe, Visiting Professor, Culinary Arts, University College Birmingham

As well as receiving the David Bache Trophy, Nathan was presented with a cheque for £500, commemorative plate, framed certificate, a special dispenser presented by Wrapmaster, a gift box from Major, an invitation to a celebration lunch courtesy of Villeroy & Boch, plus automatic seeding into the National Young Chef of the Year 2020.

The Awards Dinner was attended by 90 industry guests.  Thanks to Bord Bia for sponsoring the Beef for the main course and the rib eye for the competition and to University College Birmingham for their hospitality and the use of their excellent facilities.

Over the years, this competition, sponsored by Major International, Bidfood, Bord Bia, Wrapmaster, Contacto 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.


Tartlet of oeufs mollet, wild mushroom duxelle, hollandaise sauce

herb salad, truffle purée


Pan roasted ribeye of Irish beef, roscoff onion farci, carrot braised in beef fat, crushed celeriac, crispy potato, bordelaise sauce


Grand Marnier soufflé, pain d’epice, crème Chantilly