Cacao Barry supporting the National Chef of The Year Competition

Charles Smith

Cacao Barry is very happy and proud to support great talents, so it’s a special honour for us to support the Craft Guild of Chefs’ competition for the National Chef of the Year which will happen on Tuesday next week at the Restaurant Show in London.

There are many fantastic highly motivated chefs around, but only ten make it each year into the grand finale. They have to impress 21 judges who will be led by the Chair, Clare Smyth MBE. This year’s chef finalists are:

Adam Thomason

Charles Smith, Head Chef - Alyn Williams At The Westbury, London

Adam Thomason, Head Chef - Deloitte, Restaurant Associates, London

James Devine, Sous Chef - EIPIC, Belfast

Daniel Parker, Head Chef - House of Tides, Newcastle upon Tyne

Luciano Lucioli, Head Chef - Lusso - CH&Co, London

Kamil Wierzbowski, Sous Chef - Petrus Restaurant, Gordon Ramsay, London

Stephanie Coupland, Senior Chef De Partie - Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London

Paul Foster, Chef Owner - Salt, Warwickshire

Martin Carabott, Senior Sous Chef - The Royal Automobile Club, London 

Liam McKenna, Sous Chef - Trump International, Aberdeenshire

Cacao Barry will support these chefs with chocolate (Cacao Barry is the exclusive chocolate for the event) and practical advice offered by the great Julie Sharp. Chefs will be able to choose from a wide range of Cacao Barry products specially selected for this competition: Cocoa Nibs, Cocoa Mass, Feuillitine, Hazelnut Pure nut paste, pecan Praline paste, Venezuela 70%, Papouasie, Zephyr  and Alto el sol.

Martin Carabott

Also the judges (between them some of the greatest British chefs) are very supportive and their advice will not only be welcomed by  the finalists of this competition, but for all young chefs who are really passionately and ambitiously embarking into this career (your guests are your judges even if there is no competition, true?)  So what is the advice of the great chefs?

Sat Bains suggests: “Stay focused and almost forget that the judges are there. Simply act as if you are in your own kitchen and work clean, work fast and deliver. To be crowned NCOTY, you need to show off all the attributes that you have learned. Chefs at this level are normally Head Chefs or a Chef Patron so a real indication of skill, discipline and flair has to be evident.”
Daniel Clifford, Chef Patron of Midsummer House shares his view: “For me, cleanliness and organisation, flavour combinations and most of all taste. My advice would be to keep it simple with flavours that can work together. Practice the dishes over and over again, keep some technical classics and work clean.”

Executive Head Chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Gary Jones was quick to comment on what it takes to be crowned NCOTY: “I have been fortunate to see the growth and development of many good young chefs into great chefs and the standard of this competition is unprecedented in the UK. Everyone who enters wins in terms of their own development. To pull off the win though is not luck, it’s hard work, discipline, dedication and skill. Our industry benefits from the raised standards and knowledge across the board, Britain’s chefs are becoming stronger as a result, raising the bar in every region of the UK.”

We can’t but agree and wish all the finalists the very best for the competition - may their passion and skills make them shine and win!