The Academy of Culinary Arts has confirmed the two chefs who will take part in a cook-off to become the next candidate to represent the UK at the Bocuse d'Or contest.
The two shortlisted candidates, Adam Bennett from Simpsons Birmingham and Martin Hollis from Gleneagles, Perthshire, have been briefed to create dishes using sole and shrimps as well as Label Rouge blue-legged chicken - the key ingredients selected for the European heats of the Bocuse d'Or held in Belgium next year.
The two chefs have been asked to create their menus and will then take part in the cook-off, to be staged in central London, in the autumn. The judging panel will include Academy president Brian Turner CBE and chairman John Williams, executive chef at the Ritz London as well as last year's UK coach Nick Vadis, UK executive chef at Compass Group UK & Ireland, and Simon Hulstone, head chef at the Elephant in Torquay, the previous UK candidate.
The chef who produces the best fish and meat platters will be awarded the opportunity to represent the UK in the European final of the Bocuse d'Or, which will take place in Brussels on 20 and 21 March 2012.
Turner said both candidates have shown commitment and potential. "Now we know the dishes for Europe, we've been able to brief them for the cook-off. We've taken on board feedback from 2011 and we've increased resources within the support team," he said.
"With Simon Hulstone acting as mentor, we're also asking the runner-up to join the candidate in his preparations at both the European and world finals. Nick Vadis will continue his role as team coach and John and myself will both be on hand to share our experience of the competition."
By Kerstin Kühn
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