Adam Bennett, head chef at the Michelin-starred Simpsons restaurant in Birmingham, has been selected as the next candidate to represent Britain at the prestigious Bocuse d'Or contest.
Bennett was picked by the Academy of Culinary Arts after competing in a four-hour cook-off against Martin Hollis, resort kitchen manager at Gleneagles hotel in Perthshire, at the University of West London yesterday.
"I feel very flattered, and a little bit scared," Bennett told Caterer and Hotelkeeper after the event. "I still have a lot to learn before we get there, but I am very excited.
"The next step now is to think seriously of some ideas for the qualification in Brussels."
The two chefs had to prepare a saddle of lamb stuffed with a mousse of foie gras, accompanied by garnishes of their choice.
They were then asked to present their dishes on a silver platter and serve them to the judging panel, which included the Academy's president Brian Turner and Bocuse d'Or UK coach Nick Vadis, UK executive chef at Compass Group UK & Ireland.
Vadis said while overall the standard was good, the judges needed to establish what level the two chefs were at for the competition.
"Although they both cooked the same dishes it was the level of detail of the garnishes, and the cooking and presentation of the meat from Adam that stood out," he said.
Bennett will now represent the UK in the European final of the Bocuse d'Or, which will take place in Brussels on 20 and 21 March 2012 and where 24 countries will compete for 12 places at the world final in Lyon in January 2013.
By Katherine Alano
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