Simon Hulstone, Chef/proprietor at The Elephant restaurant in Torquay has been crowned Knorr’s National Chef of the Year 2008.
Hulstone, 33, who wins a cheque for £10k and a trip to Italy, as well as the prestigious title, was one of eight chefs to make it through to the final – a live cook-off at The Restaurant Show - yesterday,
Following a tense three hours cooking and preparing a four-course meal using ingredients only revealed to them the night before, the finalists were made to wait until the awards dinner at The Park Lane Hotel in London to find out the winner.
Taking second place in the competition was Clark Crawley, Sous Chef from Barclay’s Wealth in London, who also won Best Starter while third place went to David Kennedy, Chef/proprietor of the Black Door restaurant in Newcastle who also picked up Best Main.
Steve Allen, Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay at Claridges won Best Fish Course while overall winner Hulstone was also rewarded for Best Dessert.
The finalists, who also included Frederick Forster, Head Chef at Le Boudin Blanc, London, Brian Canale, Head Chef at Heritage Portfolio in Edinburgh, Andreas Wingert, Senior Sous Chef at Lucknam Park Hotel, Wiltshire and Ian Boden, Head Chef at the Limes Restaurant in Derby, worked their way through five heats in total to make it to the final at The Restaurant Show yesterday.
Each finalist was allowed a commis chef to help them prepare their food under the watchful gaze of a panel of chefs, which included Craft Guild of Chefs Chairman Nick Vadis, Marco Pierre White and Angela Hartnett.
Simon Hulstone`s winning menu:
Starter: Low temperature egg with toffee pea cream and black pudding croquette
Fish Course: Steamed grey mullet with crab and chilli mousse, mussels and citrus butter sauce
Main Course: Loin of rabbit with savoy cabbage and parsnip puree
Dessert: Date pudding with salted butter caramel ice cream
Picture: Simon Hulstone (centre) with L-R Craft Guild of Chefs Chairman Nick Vadis, David Mulcahy and Simon Marshall