Seventeen of the UK's leading chefs, pastry chefs and restaurant managers have been selected as finalists in the 2013 Master of Culinary Arts (MCA), following a series of tough semi-finals.
Run by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, the four-yearly awards will culminate in the finals of all three disciplines being held in September and October with the winners revealed at a gala dinner at Claridge's, London, on 31 October.
The finalists are:
William Best, sous chef, Wiltons restaurant, London
David Bush, senior chef de partie, House of Commons
Robin D'Souza, senior sous chef, Le Meridien Piccadilly, London
Jeremy Ford, chef director, Restaurant Associates
Frederick Forster, head chef, the Boundary, Shoreditch, London
Jeff Galvin, chef patron, Galvin Restaurants
Raj Holuss, sous chef, the Ritz, London
Steve Love, chef proprietor, Love's Birmingham
William Curley, patissier chocolatier, William Curley, London
Denis Drame, executive pastry chef, Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa, Surrey
Paul Williams, senior sous chef, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire
RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT AND SERVICE
Mourad Ben Tekfa, restaurant director, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire
Luigi Cagnin, deputy restaurant manager, the Ritz, London
Sergio Cappello, restaurant manager, the Travellers Club
David Galetti, head sommelier, Le Gavroche, London
Robert Rose, restaurant manager, Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road, London
Elaine Watson, food and beverage support service manager, Gleneagles hotel, Auchterarder
The finals for restaurant management and service will take place on 21 September at Le Gavroche, followed by those for pastry chef on 28 September at Westminster Kingsway College and chefs on 12 October at University College Birmingham University
Launched in 1987 and originally based on the French MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France), the MCA is regarded as the ultimate accolade in recognition of outstanding craftsmanship in cooking, pastry and service. Past winners, who carry the title for life, include Claire Clark, Benoit Blin, André Garrett and Diego Masciaga.
This year's chairman of judges is David Pitchford, proprietor, Reads Restaurant with Rooms, Faversham, Kent, supported by Idris Caldora, executive chef, Chefs Adopt a School (chefs), Michel Roux and Michael Nadell, chef patron, Nadell Patisserie (pastry chefs) and Silvano Giraldin, director of Le Gavroche (restaurant management and service).