On 17 March, six hopefuls will compete at University College Birmingham under the supervision of judges Michel Roux Jr, Andrew Garrett (2002 winner) and Steve Love (1997 winner), while a further 12 will battle it out at the University of West London, Ealing in front of Alain Roux, Andrew Fairlie, David Nicholls and Simon Hulstone (2003 winner).
The finalists will be required to create a recipe for four using one whole fresh pollock, gutted, weighing between 1.5 and 1.75kg and 600g live whole cockles, together served plated with two garnishes, one of which must include button mushrooms.
“This year we have an interesting mix of French classics and some modern interpretations,” Michel Roux Jr said. “I’m pleased to see lots of imaginative ways to prepare Pollock that I’m looking forward to tasting.”
Six winners will be selected from the regional heats to go through to the national final, which is being held at Westminster Kingsway College, London on Monday 4 April. The 2016 winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Mandarin oriental, Hyde Park, London the same evening.
The 18 regional finalists are:
- Joe Bailey of Greenway Hall Golf Club, Staffordshire
- Ben Champkin of L'Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria,
- Harry Guy of Eden Hotel Collection, Warwickshire
- Adam Harper of Fischer’s, Baslow Hall, Derbyshire
- Thomas Moody of Lower Slaughter Manor, Gloucestershire
- David Scarpato, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, South Wales
- Greg Anderson, Morston Hall, Norfolk
- Mark Carabott, The Royal Automobile Club, London
- Gregory Clarke, Midsummer House, Cambridge
- Michael Cruickshank, The Montagu Arms Hotel, Hampshire
- Scott Dineen, Goldman Sachs, (BaxterStorey), London
- Luke Fouracre, The Royal Oak Paley Street, Berkshire
- Paul Matthews, Fieldfisher, (Vacherin), London
- Dimitrios Papapanagioutou, Cliveden House, Berkshire
- Tim Peirson, Kensington Place, London
- Jozef Rogulski, The Stafford Hotel, London
- Adam Thomason, Deloitte, (Restaurant Associates), London
- Michael Thompson, Fera at Claridge’s, London