The Academy of Culinary Arts has unveiled a shortlist of potential candidates to represent the UK in the next Bocuse d'Or culinary competition.
Following former entrant Simon Hulstone's decision to retire from the prestigious biennial contest, the academy has narrowed the search for his replacement down to three chefs.
They are: Adam Smith, sous chef at the Ritz in London; Adam Bennett, head chef at the Michelin-starred Simpson's in Birmingham; and Martin Hollis, resort kitchen manager at Gleneagles hotel in Perthshire.
The three chefs will now take part in a cook-off, after which a final shortlist will be announced.
Brian Turner, president of the academy, told Caterersearch the shortlist was the result of a lot of research over the past 12 months.
"This isn't just about being able to cook but also about being able to cope with the pressure," he said.
"The next step will be an audit of the three, which will give them the opportunity to feel what we are looking for. From there we will then come up with a pecking order."
Adam Smith has represented the UK twice in the Bocuse d'Or as commis chef to Andre Garrett and Simon Hulstone in 2007 and 2009 respectively. In 2009, he became the second UK chef - after Hulstone - to win a gold medal at the WorldSkills competition in Calgary, Canada.
Meanwhile, Adam Bennett has been a finalist of the Craft Guild of Chef's National Chef of the Year competition on numerous occasions, finishing in second place - behind winner Hrishikesh Desai - last year.
Martin Hollis is a seasoned competition chef from Scotland, who has previously been team manager at La Parade des Chefs.
The Bocuse d'Or was founded by legendary French chef Paul Bocuse in 1987 and takes place every two years at the Sirha (Salon International de la Restauration, de l'Hotellerie et de l'Alimentation) exhibition in Lyon.
The 2013 world final will be preceded by the Bocuse d'Or Europe qualifying, which will take place in the Belgian capital of Brussels in the first half of 2012.
By Kerstin Kühn
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