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Hamish Pearce crowned Young Chef of the Year 2018

03 August 2018 by
Hamish Pearce crowned Young Chef of the Year 2018

Hamish Pearce of Pidgin in Hackney, east London, has been crowned champion of M Restaurants' Young Chef of the Year 2018 competition.

The competition, run by M Restaurants and Bookatable by Michelin in association with Champagne Pommery, Foodism and Collins King Associates, aims to find the best young talent in the UK and encourage others to pursue a career in hospitality.

Awards were also presented to Jamie Gardner of Coal Shed, who took the Outstanding Menu prize, and Adebayo Folarin, who won Best Marketeer.

Pearce and Gardner both win a five-day pop-up residency at M Victoria Street, and Pearce was also awarded a trip to Champagne Pommery in Reims and a set of Blenheim Forge knives.

The 12 finalists, who were all under the age of 29, had submitted an original four-course menu at £45 per head together with costings for 50 covers before cooking in a series of takeover nights at M Victoria Street.

Pearce's menu started with monkfish ceviche, kiwi fruit, pickled elderflower and gooseberry, followed by endive, baba ganoush, liver, nettles and coal. The main course was venison, fermented green gazpacho, new potato sauce, onion and chard. For dessert, he served sheeps' milk ricotta, nectarine and thyme ice-cream, cucumber granita and minted pea shell oil.

M founder Martin Williams added: "There are two purposes of the contest: first to nurture the best young talent already in our kitchens, and second I hope that by seeing what other young people are doing with food, it will inspire others to get into the professional kitchen and try it out for themselves. Thanks to Brexit the hospitality industry is suffering from worrying staff shortages and we want to make becoming a chef an aspirational career to students coming out of schools and colleges."

Pearce will be run a pop-up at M Victoria Street from 7-11 August, with Gardner in residence from 14-18 August.

M Restaurant launches second Young Chef of the Year competition>>

Two chefs named joint winners of M and Bookatable's UK Young Chef of the Year competition >>

UK Young Chef of the Year Awards 2017 finalists revealed >>

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