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Le Manoir's Henry Wadsworth takes Young National Chef of the Year award

02 October 2018 by
Le Manoir's Henry Wadsworth takes Young National Chef of the Year award

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons' Henry Wadsworth has been named as the Craft Guild's Young National Chef of the Year in his second run at the final of the competition.

The chef de partie picked up the award following the live final in front of an audience at the Restaurant Show 2018. His winning menu comprised a starter of baba ganoush, Medjool dates, preserved lemon, tempura; a main of poached halibut Veronique, Suffolk red grapes, cucumber and verjus; and a dessert of caramelised pear cooked in a frangipane tart, served with ginger cream and vanilla ice cream.

Aaron Middleton from Above at Hide, London, was the runner up, while the Ritz London's Connor Farrer was placed third.

Wadsworth took to the stage to accept the award from Mark Sargeant, the YNCOTY's ambassador - and shared a laugh after dropping his competition plate as he left the stage.

Moments after winning the top prize, he told The Caterer: "I was a bit overwhelmed, the guys handed me all the prizes and someone asked to take a photo, my hands were so full, I tried to put the plate down, dropped it, smashed everywhere."

He did, however, manage to keep hold of his winner's trophy and a series of awards. In winning the final he will also go on a fishing expedition with Michel Roux Junior and Simon Hulstone to catch Skrei on the Norwegian coast.

Wadsworth's inspiration came from research - but the young chef honed his technique with the help and advice of the team at Le Manoir. He added: "I looked at the task and looked in cooking books, I looked at chefs I respect, I read up on them… and then got as many people to try it as I could, to get their feedback and improve from there.

"It's a really big team there, so there's so many people, everyone's got a different opinion, but it's always useful to hear what people have to say."

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