The British Culinary Federation has named the 18 semi-finalists for the Chef of the Year 2014 competition.
Supported by butchers Aubrey Allen and Eblex, the 2014 Chef of the Year is offering a total prize pot of £4,000, with £2,500 going to the overall winner, who will also be given the opportunity to join the English National Culinary Team squad in Luxembourg in November 2014 on an all-expenses-paid trip.
The winner will join an exclusive group of past winners including Michelin-starred chefs Luke Tipping and Matt Cheal, executive chef and head chef, respectively, from Simpsons, Birmingham; Simon Hulstone from the Elephant in Torquay; and 2012 BCF Chef of the Year and 2013 National Chef of the Year runner-up Simon Webb.
The semi final, which will be held at the University College Birmingham (UCB) on 10 February, will see the chefs cook three course meal, highlighting the best of British produce ina two-hour cook-off. The main course must include British pork.
The final will take place on Monday 7 April at UCB followed by an awards dinner.
Judges for the final will include Alain Roux, Ashley Palmer Watts, Brian Turner CBE, Simon Hulstone and Simon Webb, plus a representative of Les Toques Blanches Lyonnaises.
The 18 semi-finalists are:
• Suree Coates, Forester Arms, Shropshire
• Shaun Reason, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst
• Mathew Shropshall, University College Birmingham
• James Buckley, The Genuine Dining Company
• Dez Turland, Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon
• Nick Evans, Middlethorpe Hall, York
• Matthew Warburton, Menzies Welcombe Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon
• Byron Franklin, Clare College, Cambridge
• Keiron Stevens, Michael Wignall at The Latymer, Pennyhill Park
• James Circuit, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
• Dean Crews, Charing Cross Hotel, London
• Carlos Martinez, The Stafford Kempinski, London
• Andras Katona, Corinthia Hotel, London
• Gary Kilminster, School of Hospitality & Food, Bournemouth & Poole College
• Adam Handling, St Ermin's Hotel, London
• Imthiaz Kader,Wyndham Grand Chelsea Harbour, London
• Alex Dome, Petersham Nurseries, Surrey
• Keith Hooker, Restaurant Associates, Compass Group