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Birmingham chefs fight corner in National competition

Adam Bennet Head Chef Simpsons Restaurant & Aaron Darnley Edmunds Restaurant, Birmingham

Adam Bennet Head Chef Simpsons Restaurant & Aaron Darnley Edmunds Restaurant, Birmingham

Adam Bennett, head chef at Simpson’s Restaurant in Edgbaston, has beaten some of the country’s top culinary talent to scoop second place in this year’s National Chef of the Year competition.

Run by the Craft Guild of Chefs, this is one of the UK’s most respected culinary competitions, acknowledging and rewarding the crème de la crème of today’s chef talent.

Following a first round paper-based entry, forty applicants were invited to cook in the semi-finals before being reduced to a final elite ten who took part in a live cook-off at the Restaurant Show at Earls Court on Monday 11 October.

Adam’s mouth-watering menu included fillet of gilt head sea bream, braised fennel, red pepper and aubergine with saffron sauce, pan-fried supreme of Gressingham duck, spinach farci, celeriac purée, glazed apple, noisette potato with date & cracked pepper jus, and bitter chocolate tart, toffee banana, salted caramel & sesame ice-cream.

Adam said: “Taking part in this competition was a terrific experience and it was great to fly the flag for Birmingham. To test my skills against my peers and then come away with the second prize is a fantastic result.”

The competition has been running since 1972 with many of the winners going on to establish themselves as highly inspirational members of the culinary fraternity and well respected amongst their peers.

It has helped to launch the careers of some of industry’s most celebrated chefs, many with Michelin stars. Past winners include Gordon Ramsey, Mark Sargent, Kevin Viner, Bruce Sangster, Willliam Stafford and last year’s winner Simon Hulstone, chef patron at the Elephant, Torquay.

Hrishikesh Desai, brasserie head chef, Lucknam Park Hotel was crowned Craft Guild of Chef’s National Chef of the Year following a pressure-cooker environment in the final.

Aaron Darnley from Edmunds Restaurant in Brindleyplace also set the standard for Birmingham’s rising culinary talent. He achieved a well-deserved place in the semi finals of the Craft Guild’s Young National Chef of the Year.

Aaron said: “This was a great experience and one that will help me as I develop my skills. We have some fantastic restaurants in Birmingham and doing well in these competitions will serve to enhance our reputation.”

David Mulcahy, director of competitions for the Craft Guild said: “This year’s competition has been a phenomenal success, it has certainly showcased the amazing talent we have in our industry today. Hrishikesh is a spectacular winner who fought off what was an extremely strong panel of competitors for the title.

“Myself and my fellow judges were treated to a host of mouth-watering dishes with each and every one of the ten finalists gave their all.”

Article Links:-

More information on Aaron and Edmunds Restaurant HERE

More details on Adam and Simpsons Restaurant HERE

Search top right for more articles on Edmunds and Simpsons, and their teams’ successes

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