Charles Coulombeau, head chef at the Michelin-starred Gravetye Manor in West Sussex, has won the UK final of Le Taittinger Prix Culinaire and will go through to compete in the international competition.
Competitors submitted their recipes with photographs and the story of their inspiration, which were all judged anonymously. Acorn Award-winner Coulombeau wins €2,400 (£2,056) and will represent the UK at the international final in Paris on 28 January 2020.
This year, the competition takes a new format, with the contest celebrating a ‘hero’ ingredient, this year king scallops, which chefs will use at the heart of a signature dish.
Coulombeau, a 2020 Acorn Award winner, will prepare his winning signature dish along with a set recipe revealed the day before the final, where he will compete with the winners of the other national competitions from Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. The day before the final, the national winners will spend the day in Champagne, France.
The winner of the international final will receive €20,000 (£17,136), with the runner-up getting €5,000 (£4,284) and €2,500 (£2,142) being awarded to the chef in third place.
President of the UK national competition, owner of the two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche in London Michel Roux, said: “The competition was extremely tough, and the new format of the competition has given the candidates new freedom to express their ideas and inspirations. This led to an even higher standard of entries demonstrating excellent technical skills and attention to detail. I look forward to seeing and tasting Charles’s dish in Paris where he will go head to head with the winners from the other national finals.”
The contest has been running since 1953 and has crowned champions including Joël Robuchon, Bernard Leprince and Michel Roth.