Key industry figures and the media were there to celebrate winner, Alex Hucker’s Young Chef of the Year accoclade and Loic Avril of The Fat Duck who took the top UK slot and has been crowned 2013 winner of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ Young Sommelier of the Year Award. Both Hucker and Avril will now go on to represent the UK and compete on the World stage at the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ International Finals which will take place later this year.
Throughout the evening, guests were treated to a menu created by Executive Chef Henri Brosi which included Pumpkin Risotto with Sage nage, Smoked Salmon Tortellini with Saffron and Fennel consommé, a Beef Wellington with Truffle Mash and a selection of desserts, including Poached Pear with salt caramel Ice cream, Tonka bean Touille.
The Young Chefs Competition was first organised by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in Switzerland in 1977 to support and promote future young chefs. The competition, which is held at regional, national and international levels in countries around the world, is open to young cooks no more than 27 years of age and each candidate is nominated by their employer.
The task of the competition is a challenging one. Contestants are given an identical, “market basket” containing certain basic ingredients. Using all of these ingredients, as well as drawing on a variety of staples from a pantry, the contestant are asked to compose and execute a 3-course menu (first course, main course, and dessert) for four people. The written menu must be completed within the first half-hour, with 2½ hours allowed for preparation, after which the finished dishes are presented to be judged within a 30-minute time frame.
Chef Alex Hucker of the Four Seasons, Hampshire, won the event for his exquisite menu of Pan Fried Seared Mackerel Fillet served with Golden Beetroot, Saffron, Cous Cous and Bay Leeks, Roast Breast of Guinea Fowl with Butternut Squash, Potato Fondant and Baby Onions which he served as a main and a Plum and Hazelnut Crème Brulee Tart, which he wowed judges with as dessert.
During the course of the evening a raffle was also held to support the Chaîne’s charity, The Clink.
The Young Chef Finals will be held in Istanbul from 5-7 September and Young Sommelier Finals – Washington, DC 17-20 October.
For more information about the Young Chefs Competition, visit the Chaîne des Rôtisseurswebsite.