The team, led by chef Tom Phillips from Restaurant Story, took tenth place in Turin yesterday (12 June) in a tense cook-off where technical issues with the kitchen cost them valuable preparation time.
The 11 countries going through to the final in order of points awarded are Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland and the UK. Martino Ruiggieri from the host team Italy took the wild card.
Phillips and commis chef Nathan Lane (formerly of The Ritz) had five hours and 35 minutes to produce 15 plates using a specified list of fruit and vegetables to accompany hen’s egg and Blue Mountain Pasture Castelmagno DOP cheese.
They also had to produce a platter of 15 portions using beef fillet from Fassona Piemontese pedigree, calf sweetbread and Baraggia Biellese and Vercellese rice.
The result marks a return to the world final for the UK, which failed to qualify for the 2017 competition in the European heats.
Chef Andreas Antona, Bocuse d’Or UK Academy chair, praised the team for qualifying under “immense pressure”.
“We are absolutely delighted but having come tenth we understand the enormous amount of work that needs to be done before Lyon,” says Antona.
The team were coached by chef Adam Bennet [chef director at The Cross in Kenilworth], who has twice competed for the UK – securing the team’s best ever result of fourth place in 2013.
The European winners will go on to compete in the world final on 29-30 January 2019 in Lyon, France.
It will be the first time the event has been held since the death of its legendary founder Paul Bocuse, who launched the competition in 1987.
The last event, held in 2017, was won by the United States for the first time.