As well as announcing the winner of the National Chef of the Year award next week, the Craft Guild of Chefs has introduced a new award in memory of chef Matt Campbell, who tragically died running the London Marathon in April.
After anonymously judging the entries, it was found that Campbell had not only entered the competition, but his menu had successfully made it into the top 40.
Named the ‘Matt Campbell Extra Mile Award', the new award will be presented to one of the 10 National Chef of the Year finalists who has made a big impression on the judges, in both the build-up to and during the competition.
Campbell worked as a private chef in Cumbria and made it to the semi-finals of BBC Two's MasterChef: The Professionals last year, receiving widespread attention and praise from the judges for his dishes, many of which were vegan and focused on nutrition.
Organiser and vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, David Mulcahy, said: "We wanted to recognise the work of not only Matt Campbell but also our 10 dedicated finalists. Throughout the competition, we've been looking at every element of the chefs' work, not only when competing but also in the part they play as ambassadors for our industry."
Chair of judges Gary Jones added: "Over recent years there has been a lot of discussion about creating positive environments in modern kitchens and how senior chefs support those youngsters around them. It's vital we work together to ensure we are truly nurturing the next generation to succeed in our industry."
The winner will be revealed at the National Chef of the Year VIP celebration at Adam Handling's the Frog in Covent Garden, following the live final at the Restaurant Show on 2 October at Olympia London.