Top Chefs go Head to Head in X Factor Style Cooking Final On the 20th of October 2011, 10 of the UK’s most skillful chefs will be going head to head in a competition inspired by visionarydining.com in aid of Hospitality Action, the Hospitality Industry’s benevolent fund designed to help hospitality professionals in crisis. This unique competition has been a year in the making thanks to 10 competitive heats that took place as far south as Westminster College in London and as far North as the Lakes Hotel School in Kendal.
At each regional heat a leading UK chef introduced 16 hopeful competitors to 3 dishes from their own nationally acclaimed restaurants. After a 3 hour training session each competitor then went onto compete to recreate the dishes exactly as mentored. The winners from each heat will now accompany their mentor in the Visionary Chef of the Year Dinner on the 20th of October 2011.
Managing Director Gordon Cartwright explains the purpose of the annual event. ‘It’s like the X Factor for professional chefs at every level. We’re looking to discover and celebrate innate skills in individuals who benchmark their ability with the best in the industry. This allows aspiring chefs to understand the potential of their career for what it really is.’
The prize for the winning competitor will be to dine in any restaurant in the world, including flights. Simon Rogan, Chef Patron of L’Enclume in Cumbria, and one of the celebrity chef mentors on the night expresses his enthusiasm for the scheme. ‘Not only do the competitors learn from top chefs but if we can unlock dormant world class talent whilst helping an important charity, and share that experience with the public, then everyone is a winner’.
The venue for this glamorous dinner will be the Lakes Hotel School, Kendal in Cumbria, who recently received an ‘outstanding’ citation from Ofsted, a rating only a handful other colleges
in the UK have achieved in 2011. Cartwright explains visionarydining.com’s link with
education. ‘If we can inspire the stars of tomorrow with the stars of today, then there is no
better venue in which to do it than in one of Europe’s top culinary learning centres. It’s too easy to hire a Park Lane venue for a night but that’s not where the students are.’
Robert Marshall-Slater, Director of Hospitality at the Lakes Hotel School is not only relishing working with 10 world class chefs for a day, but agrees that serving a 10 course tasting menu which includes 1500 dishes over a six hour period is not without significant challenge. ‘Allowing our students to work alongside industry greats gives us all a real buzz. Winning the tender to host this event is a great honour that sits alongside the ambitions that we as a college set ourselves.’
The winning chef on the night will be judged not only by the diners present, but also by a world class judging panel headed by former Chief Restaurant Inspector of the AA, Peter Birnie, who’s brief on the night will be to work with industry icons such as Sat Bains, Monica Galetti (Snr Sous Chef at the 2 Star Le Gavroche and Judge on Master Chef the Professionals), Dr Tony Blake (World renowned expert on flavours at Firmenich, the Swiss flavouring and perfume company) and Vicky Endersen, Head of Flavour research at MSK Ingredients. Head of Judges Peter Birnie explains what his team will be looking for on the night. ‘The winner on the night will demonstrate a natural visionary culinary philosophy that showcases clear natural vibrant flavours, flawless textures and high levels of intuitive skill. Ultimately, the winning dish will provide a WOW factor and be memorable.’
The UK National Mentors
- Simon Rogan ~ 1 Michelin Star ~ L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
- Aiden Byrne ~ 3 AA Rosettes ~ The Church Green, Lymm, Cheshire
- Kenny Atkinson ~ 3 AA Rosettes ~ Rockliffe Hall, Darlington, County Durham
- Michael Wignall ~ 1 Michelin Star ~ Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey
- Steven Smith ~ Awaiting Grading ~ Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire
- Rupert Rowley ~ 4 AA Rosettes ~ Fischers at Baslow, Derbyshire
- Andre Garret ~ 3 AA Rosettes ~ Galvin at Windows, London
- Alan Irwin ~ Awaiting Grading ~ Lujon, London
- Chris Holland ~ 3 AA Rosettes ~ Alderley Edge Hotel and Restaurant, Cheshire
- Chris Horridge ~ 1 Michelin Star ~ Chef with 10 in 8 Restaurants.
The UK National Competitors
- David Simms, Restaurant Associates, London
- Rohan Nevins, Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, Bath
- Gareth Bevin, Breda Murphy, Clitheroe Lancashire
- Nick Evans, Middlethorpe Hall, York
- Tom Lawson, Rowley’s, Derbyshire
- John Killington, Restaurant Associates, London
- Michael Lipscombe, Restaurant Associates, London
- Derek Donaldson, Hilton, Glasgow
- Andrew Postlethwaite, Best Western Castle Green Hotel, Kendal
- Heat 10 Winner to work with Steven Smith, not yet confirmed.
- Peter Birnie. Former Chief Restaurant Inspector at the AA.
- Sat Bains. One of Britain’s current crop of World Culinary Stars.
- Monica Galetti. Senior Sous Chef at the 2 Star Le Gavroche and Judge on Master Chef the Professionals
- Dr Tony Blake. World renowned expert on flavours at Firmenich, the Swiss flavouring and Perfume Company.
- Vicky Endersen Previous Michelin-star Pastry Chef. Now works as cutting edge development chef and flavour specialist at MSK.
For more information please contact Dawn Holding at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07766