IT HAS been a decade since the Chef Award was introduced, but this is the first time a pastry chef has been so recognised.
Michael Nadell is one of the country's most successful pastry chefs. Having turned his back on hotel kitchens, he started Nadell Patisserie in 1980 to supply London's top establishments. Then he operated with a turnover of £600 a day: now the annual turnover runs to millions.
But it is not just his business acumen which the judges praised.
Nadell, perhaps more than any working pastry chef, is doing his bit to ensure the emergence of a new generation of British pastry chefs.
Although he would probably not admit to it, the modest Nadell was a driving force behind the Association of Pastry Chefs' new competition, Dessert of the Year, which was launched earlier this summer to raise the standing of this important specialist skill.
In a year with a record number of nominations for the Chef Award, the judges selected Nadell as the winner, in recognition of the work he has done both to raise standards in the profession, and to encourage new blood in the pastry section of British kitchens.
One judge highlighted his tremendous support of competition work, in encouraging his own staff to enter as well as his many commitments as a judge.
Another judge commended him for always having time to talk to others, finding opportunities despite running a business, offering sound advice and sharing knowledge.
In one of the many nominations he received, Nadell was described as a pÆ'tissier well-respected by the profession and an inspiration to all students studying the art of pastry. He has left his mark with many in the profession today.
Nadell really has contributed so much to the industry over the years, one judge enthused.
He is a dedicated and talented pastry chef with a wealth of knowledge and experience. His work is professional, neat and Continental in style and quality.
He has inspired many, and is admired and respected throughout the industry. n