Ciaran McGill crowned CH&Co Chef of the Year 2024

27 March 2024 by
Ciaran McGill crowned CH&Co Chef of the Year 2024

Ciaran McGill, head chef for Gather & Gather Ireland, has been named CH&Co Chef of the Year 2024.

McGill beat a cohort of talented finalists from CH&Co's specialist brands, including Blue Apple, Company of Cooks, Gather & Gather, CH&Co Independent, Pabulum and Vacherin.

At yesterday's (26 March) final, held at the University of West London, chefs were tasked with cooking two portions each of a sustainability-focused starter and main within two hours.

The starter had to be plant-based, while the main had to feature a whole herb-fed free-range chicken.

Both dishes were also required to meet, wherever possible, the Sustainable Restaurant Association's (SRA) One Planet Plate criteria, which prioritises local food with a low carbon footprint.

These were judged by Anthony Demetre, chef patron of the Michelin-starred Wild Honey; Deepak Mallya, executive sous chef at the Ritz London; chef consultant Sabrina Gidda and Michael Coaker, ambassador for the University of West London.

McGill's winning menu featured a spring pea and hazelnut tart with Iona Farm white turnip, radish, and Velvet Cloud sheep yoghurt, as well as a herb fed free range Yorkshire chicken with green asparagus, buttermilk thigh, truffle mousseline stuffed wing, wild garlic and celeriac.



As part of his prize, McGill has been invited on a three-day culinary trip to San Sebastian.

Jeremy Ford, food director of CH&Co and competition organiser, said: "What a final! Huge congratulations to Ciaran, a worthy winner against very stiff competition. The standards shown by all the finalists was phenomenal and I congratulate them all. They are testament to the culinary passion and expertise in the food teams across CH&Co's specialist brands, as well as the genuine commitment to creating delicious, exciting dishes that are also sustainable."

CH&Co was built by chief executive Bill Toner and chairman Tim Jones. It was sold to Compass Group in a £475m deal in January this year.

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