Congratulations to James Devine, the National Chef of the Year 2017!
And we have the winner!
This year’s National Chef of the Year competition was tough. The competition, organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs and sponsored by Cacao Barry, brought together some of the greatest talents in the world of British cuisine. Each of them deserved to be a winner, but at the end the jury had to select only one of them.
This year’s winner is James Devine, the Sous Chef at Deanes Eipic. His winning menu featured Tees Valley Rib of Beef and a soft centered chocolate & coffee tart. Very close behind him were Adam Thomason of Deloitte, Restaurant Associates (second place) and Charles Smith of Alyn Williams at The Mayfair, who was the third.
James Devine is now part of the National Chef of the Year 'Hall of Fame’ and winner of a range of special prizes including a once-in-a-lifetime trip to one of the world’s top restaurants, stagiaire opportunities and equipment from sponsors and chocolate workshops. By winning the life-changing title, James now also has a chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the country’s most successful chefs - Alyn Williams, Gordon Ramsay and Mark Sargeant who have all previously held the title.
Clare Smyth MBE, who was Chairman of Judges said: “After the level of cooking I’ve witnessed this afternoon, I couldn’t be more honoured to be Chair of judges for NCOTY. All finalists rose to the challenge and delivered delicious plates of food. It’s not easy cooking for these judges, many of whom are our finalists’ idols, but it’s so important to remain calm and hold your nerve. Although it was a tough decision, we had a clear winner in the end and some really stand out dishes that could be served up in any restaurant.”
Same day, but later on the winner of Young National Chef of the Year was also announced. This competition was also closely fought with a high standard of entries from all young chefs. The winner was Ruth Hansom from The Ritz. Second place was awarded to April Lily Partridge of The Clove Club and in third was Danny Young from Northcote.
Young National Chef of the Year Ambassador, Mark Sargeant commented: “I couldn’t be any prouder of what all ten finalists did today. They were confident, calm and we saw some fantastic culinary skills demonstrated by chefs who are so early into their careers. It’s always great to follow these chefs through their careers and I’ve got no doubt that in a few years’ time some of these chefs are going to be competing on the senior stage.”
Congratulations to all the winners - we are sure we will hear a lot about them in the future.