Taittinger has launched its International Culinary Prize with a new format that celebrates the creativity, originality and inspiration of young chefs.
Those competing in “Le Taittinger” International Culinary Prize will be asked to celebrate a hero ingredient to use at the heart of their dish, with the king scallops featuring in the 2020 competition.
Chefs aged between 24 and 39 with five or more years’ experience in the profession are eligible to take part, with UK competitors encouraged to submit their recipes by 28 October.
Michel Roux will return as the president of the UK national competition, joining a panel of judges to select a chef who will go on to compete at the international final in Paris on 28 January 2020 against winners from Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.
At the final, each chef will cook six plates of their king scallop dish for a panel of judges, along with six dishes that follow a set recipe, which is only be revealed to them the night before the final.
Last year Tom Scade (pictured with Vitalie Taittinger, Michel Roux Jr and 2018’s judges and candidates) made the final to represent the UK, coming third.
The competition, which was originally launched as a tribute to Taittinger Champagne founder Pierre Taittinger, has been revitalised by Taittinger marketing and communications director Vitalie Taittinger.
She said: “Creativity, originality and inspiration are at the heart of Champagne Taittinger and that’s why we want to recognise young chefs who demonstrate those same qualities through their cooking.
“The new format will give chefs the opportunity to demonstrate more of their own flair and personality whilst retaining the challenging nature of the competition.
“The ability to both freestyle with their own signature dishes and also display technical excellence in producing a set recipe are equally important skills in a leading-edge modern kitchen.
“I can’t wait to find out which chef will be representing the UK in the international final – and to taste their dishes.”
The winner of the international final will receive €20,000 and a medal, with the runner-up getting €5,000 and €2,500 being awarded to the chef in third place. Each national competition winner will take home €2,400.