Following a tense 1½ hours cooking, Adam Smith, head chef at The Devonshire Arms in Yorkshire, was awarded first place in the Bocuse d’Or National Selection at Hotelympia on Monday. Steve Love, chef patron at Loves Restaurant in Birmingham was awarded second place.
Smith was presented with the Bocuse d’Or UK trophy, donated by University College Birmingham and Villeroy & Boch winner’s plate. Love wins a trip to the Bocuse d’Or Europe in Stockholm next week, provided by Bocuse d’Or sponsor Nestlé Professional.
Provided current candidate, Adam Bennett secures a top 12 position on May 8th, both Smith and Love will have the opportunity to work alongside him as he prepares for Lyon in 2015.
(Adam Smith is presented with his award by the Bocuse d'Or UK Academy and joined by sponsors. From left to right: Simon Smith, Aubrey Allen, Ron Maxfield, Wellocks, Nick Vadis, Compass Group/ Bocuse d’Or UK, Andreas Antona, Simpons, The Cross in Kenilworth, Pure Bar & Kitchen, Adam Smith (Bocuse d’Ot UK winner) , John Williams, Exec Chef at The Ritz London, Claire Dolan, Nestle Professional, Peter Hunkermoeller, Manitowoc, Andy Daniels, Manitowoc.)
Armand Sablon, head chef at Ten Restaurant at Cafe Royal and Rajkumar Holuss from The Ritz also competed in what the judges said was a very close final.
John Williams, chair of the Bocuse d’Or UK team and 2001 candidate, led the judges which included Andreas Antona, former chef and restaurateur, Nick Vadis, culinary director of Compass Group and UK candidate 2009 and 2013, chef proprietor of The Elephant restaurant and brasserie, Simon Hulstone.
Williams commented that every candidate demonstrated excellent technical and culinary skills in very different ways. “The standard today was excellent and congratulations to everyone who took part. We had some incredible talent competing today and our task of selecting the winner was not easy. So much can happen between now and 2017 which is why we’ve decided to take two chefs on the journey. We are very excited about the UK’s prospects with both Adam and Steve on board.”
(Steve Love, Adam Smith, Armand Sablon, Rajkumar Holuss)
Adam Smith, “I was thrilled to be announced as the winner at the Bocuse d’Or UK selection event, it was a tough afternoon with very strong competition from the other contestants. I believe that having taken part as a commis on 2 separate occasions with both Simon Hulstone and Andre Garrett respectfully, I already had an idea of the style, standards, expectations and commitment of taking part, which I think is what helped me with the final result.”
The chefs had 1½ hours to prepare, cook and present three different hot garnishes, five portions of each suitable for decorating a Chicken Ballotine. In the style of the Bocuse d’Or, each entry was presented on a silver flat provided by Heritage Silverware, which also supplied the silver for Adam Bennett’s award winning meat platter in 2013.