Koffmann's chef Ben Murphy crowned Young National Chef of the Year 2012

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Young national chef, Chef

Ben Murphy, chef de partie at Pierre Koffmann's London restaurant, celebrates becoming Young National Chef of the Year 2012 with the judges and his fellow finalists
Ben Murphy, chef de partie at Pierre Koffmann's London restaurant, celebrates becoming Young National Chef of the Year 2012 with the judges and his fellow finalists
Ben Murphy, chef de partie at Pierre Koffmann's London restaurant has been named Young National Chef of the Year 2012 following a tense final at The Restaurant Show.

The chef beat seven other finalists aged under 23 to the top place after judges Frederick Forster, Brian Turner and Sophie Wright cast their winning votes. Runners up were Jack Allibone of Simpson's Restaurant in Birmingham who took second place and Lewis Gallagher of Stanley House Hotel who took third. 

Murphy, who has worked for Koffmann for the last two years and who is set to spend the next six months working in France, said he was shocked to have won the competition in what is his first year of entry, but said it had inspired him to keep challenging himself.

"I thought I'd done alright and thought I'd maybe got third place, so I was shocked to have won," he said. "It's a good competition and I'm really pleased about the result. I've been really well supported by lots of people.

"I'd love to go on and do National Chef of the Year when I'm old enough and do the Roux Scholarship too. Those are the two competitions I'd love to aim for."

Commitment

Eight finalists competed in the last stage of the competition at The Restaurant Show at Earl's Court 2 yesterday (Tuesday). Finalists were tasked with preparing a starter of their choice, followed by a main course which had to include seabass and a dessert. 

Murphy's winning menu was a starter of sous vide duck breast, beetroot, goats cheese and horseradish, a main of pan fried sea bass with bacon, lemon, yolk and pea and a dessert of Calvados Savarin, yoghurt, apple, tarragon and apple crumble ice cream. 

Steve Munkley, chair of the the judges, praised the commitment of all the finalists but said Murphy's consistency and innovative recipe choice as well as his professionalism led him to win first place. 

"Ben's professional working methods shone through and his previous training and competition expertise including World Skills has come into the fore again," he said. 

The eight finalists were:

  • Ben Murphy, Koffman's
  • Indalecio Sebastiao, Guernsey OGH
  • Kristian Curtis, Simpsons Restaurant
  • Rositsa Nikolova, House of Commons
  • Lewis Gallagher, The Grill on the Hill
  • Jack Allibone, Simpson's Restaurant
  • Chris Munroe, Royal Garden Hotel
  • Kevin Johnston, Banchory Lodge Hotel

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