The group were whittled down from 18 regional finalists, who took part in two simultaneous heats at University of West London and University College Birmingham on 23 March.
This year’s finalists are:
- Martin Carabott, Luca Restaurant, Clerkenwell, London
- Michael Cruickshank, Bohemia, St Helier, Jersey
- Scott Dineen, BaxterStorey, London
- Oliver Downey, Fera at Claridge’s, Mayfair, London
- Luke Selby, Dabbous, London
- Matthew Whitfield, The Driftwood Hotel, Portscatho, Cornwall
The chefs were challenged to create a recipe to serve four people using whole fresh rainbow trout and 800g live mussels, accompanied by a sauce and two garnishes, one to include jasmine rice.
Contestants had two and a half hours to cook their dish alongside a desserts from a list of mystery ingredients including strawberry jam, fresh yeast and double cream.
Chefs Alain Roux, Andrew Fairlie, James Martin and Simon Hulstone judged the London heat, while Michel Roux Jr, Brian Turner, Sat Bains and André Garrett judged in Birmingham.
“The chefs used a wide variety of different ingredients and techniques, some were a bit too complex and although the dishes looked pretty they didn’t deliver on taste,” said Alain Roux.
“When comparing notes with my cousin [Michel Roux Jr] we had to make some difficult choices but we’ve got six strong chefs in the final which will make for an exciting competition.”
The six finalists will go on to compete in the national final on 10 April at Westminster Kingsway College, London. The chefs will only be given the ingredients 30 minutes before the start of the competition and will have three hours to prepare and present a main dish to the judges.
Chef Anne-Sophie Pic will head the panel of judges as honorary president alongside joint chairmen Alain and Michel Jr.
The 2017 winner will be announced at an award ceremony at The Langham London later that evening.