A Passionate chef in Harrogate is now in the running to walk away the prestigious title of The National Chef of the Year 2012, after being announced as a semi-finalist in the competition run by the Craft Guild of Chefs.
Lionel Strub, Chef patron at Mirabelle Restaurant is one of 40 chefs in the running for the top accolade for British chefs, with past winners including the likes of Gordon Ramsay and acclaimed chefs Simon Hulstone, Mark Sargeant and David Everitt-Matthias, while Frederick Forster was star of the show in 2011.
A total of four semi-finals will take place at two of the UK’s best culinary training centres, Sheffield College on June 19th, and Westminster Kingsway College, London, on June 26th. If Lionel makes the cut, he will be one of eight chefs to go into this year’s high-pressure final at The Restaurant Show at Earls Court 2 on October 9th.
Each heat winner will be announced on the day and thereafter the remaining four finalists are chosen from the highest marks across all of the heats. These final four places will be announced after the final heat at Westminster Kingsway College.
Since childhood cooking has been my major passion. The National Chef of the Year is the most sought after title for chefs across the UK and a chance to prove they have the talent, flair, skill and passion to rise to the top of their game. Creating a menu that catches the judges imagination is tough, but cooking it to perfection in competition is the biggest challenge, so the heat is now on.
David Mulcahy, organiser of the competition and vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said:
Even at this stage, it’s a long road to the final. The calibre of entries seems to get stronger and stronger every year, and this year’s semi-finals are going to be tough. On top of this, every stage of the competition features intense scrutiny by an experienced panel of chefs.
For the chance to win The National Chef of the Year, Lionel will now need to prepare a well thought out menu, paying attention to authenticity, sourcing, seasonality, timing and wastage, while creating a menu that offers maximum flavour, texture, balance and style. Lionel is particularly keen to feature some of the unique ingredients and flavours of the region.
Winning the title is an outstanding achievement in itself and the tremendous prize package up for grabs, worth in excess of £15,000, is a true reflection of that.
Aside from being awarded the esteemed title of The National Chef of the Year, the winner will receive a host of top-class prizes including cash, an exclusive study trip with dinner at a 3-starred Michelin restaurant, master-classes as well as specialist chef’s products and equipment.
The National Chef of the Year 2012
The National Chef of the Year competition is open to all chefs who are 23 years or older on 1st April in the year of the competition. They can work in any sector of the catering industry, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, universities and in contract catering.
Celebrating the multicultural nature of the UK is a key aim of the competition and a revised format showcases this. The categories are divided up as follows:
Asian / Oriental
Modern British / European
Rest of the World / Other
Throughout the process there are in excess of 40 expert chef judges including Angela Hartnett, Tom Kerridge, Atul Kochhar, Mark Sargeant and Philip Howard.