Leo Kattou wins BCF Chef of the Year 2021

20 October 2021 by
Leo Kattou wins BCF Chef of the Year 2021

Leo Kattou, head chef at the Michelin-starred Simpsons restaurant in Birmingham, was crowned 2021 British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year at a dinner held at University College Birmingham on Monday 18 October.

Kattou, also a finalist of the BBC's 2017 MasterChef: The Professionals competition and an Acorn Award winner, was one of 12 chefs to reach the live cook-off.

A month before the final, each chef was sent a video of a butchery masterclass from Aubrey Allen's Academy where the cut of meat to be used was disclosed. The chefs had to produce a three-course meal for two covers in two hours, which centred on using Irish grass-fed sirloin flat iron beef.

Kattou impressed the judges with three dishes, including: set truffle custard with BBQ maitake mushrooms, Jerusalem artichoke and truffle sauce; roasted flat iron of Irish beef with Roscoff onion, black garlic, spinach and pickled mustard seed sauce; and caramel souffle, banana and lime ice-cream.

Judges included Ashley Palmer-Watts, Sat Bains, Brian Turner, Rachel Humphrey, Adam Smith and Ian Musgrave.

Kattou was the 17th winner of the competition, which counts Simon Hulstone, Luke Tipping and Adam Handling as past winners. As well as the trophy, commemorative plate, framed certificate and a cheque for £2,500, Kattou also won an Irish beef-focused visit to Ireland.

The runner-up for the competition was Matt Nicholls, chef-director at Cheal's of Henley-in-Arden, while in third place was Cleverson Cordeiro, head chef at the Frog by Adam Handling in London.

Competition organiser and BCF president Peter Griffiths said: "This competition continues to attract some of the industry's best. Due to the pandemic, this competition which should have taken place in April 2020, has been a long time coming.

"We have witnessed some terrific and innovative cooking across the three courses. The talents of the finalists really shone in their finished dishes. They were a credit to themselves, the industry and the British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year 2021."

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