The chefs through to the final, which is due to take place on 11 October at The Restaurant Show at Earls Court 2, have beaten off competition from 40 rivals during the semi-final heats at Westminster Kingsway College this week.
This year competitors were divided up into four cuisine categories: Mediterranean, Modern British/ Irish, European and Asian/ Oriental.
Chefs within each category were tasked with creating a three-course meal (of canapés, main and dessert), which a panel of judges scrutinized for taste, texture, skill, presentation, innovation and service.
Chair of judges Andrew Bennett said the competition’s new format had resulted in a varied standard of cooking at the semi-finals.
“The standard of chef has been interesting this year because we’ve diversed and gone into specific sectors. The addition of the Asian/ Oriental heat this week was interesting with lots of different complex flavours that caused great conversation in the judging room because there were lots of different flavours and spices going on which we’re not quite used to.
“It’s been a really interesting exercise which is only going to grow.”
The panel of judges overseeing the final next month, include Angela Hartnett, Atul Kochhar, Jun Tanaka, Ching-He Huang, Chris Galvin, and current NCOTY title holder, Simon Husltone.
David Mulcahy, competition director, who will also sit on the judging panel, said: “This year’s final promises to be an exciting and very strong contest considering the calibre of finalists. We’ve chosen an extremely strong panel of judges highly respected in the industry who will ensure the best chef on the day is crowned the National Chef of the Year 2010.”
The finalists competing at the 2010 National Chef of the Year final are:
Hrishikest Desai, Lucknam Park Hotel
Imthiaz Kader, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
Adam Bennett, Simpsons Restaurant
Frederick Forster, 44 Restaurant and Lounge
Clark Crawley, Restaurant Associates
Simon Christery-French, Pearl Restaurant
Justin Galea, Turnberry
Richard Edwards, Lucknam Park Hotel
Martin Nisbet, Angelus Restaurant
Selin Kiazim, The Providores