The competition, run in association with the Institute of Hospitality and the Craft Guild of Chefs, asks entrants to showcase their skills by making gluten-free substitutes such as bread or pasta at the live final.
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, told BigHospitality that ‘the standards are rocketing’ as awareness of the autoimmune disease increases within the restaurant sector.
“We set up this competition four years ago to highlight the provision of gluten-free catering options,” said Sleet.
“At that point there was a relatively low awareness of coeliac disease. But every year we see more entries from a wider group of establishments, and more imaginative interpretations of what we’re asking entrants to do.”
The competition comprises two categories; ‘Gluten-free Chef of the Year’ for those who cook for a living and are over 23 and the ‘Up and Coming Gluten-free Chef of the Year’ for those who are training and under 23.
Entrants must design a three-course gluten-free meal for two people. The menus must include at least two courses which include a gluten-free element, such as pasta, pastry, cake and bread, which must be made from scratch on the day of the live cook-off by the three finalists in each group.
The judging will once again be headed up by celebrity chef and Coeliac UK’s food ambassador Phil Vickery. The live cook-off will take place at the Unilever Food Solutions Culinary Business Development Centre, Leatherhead in November 2013.
Coeliac disease is caused by intolerance to gluten. There is no cure or medication for the condition and the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life.
One in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease, representing a potential £100 million market amongst those diagnosed with the condition and the friends and family they eat out with.
Closing date for entries is 5pm on 20 October 2013. For more information on the competition visit www.coeliac.org.uk/gfchefoftheyear.
BigHospitality's Special Feature this month is looking at 'catering for customers with dietary needs'. From how to make menus healthier to providing gluten-free and other allergy-free options, we'll have it covered with interviews, case studies and top tips. Watch this space...