James Devine, sous chef at EIPIC in Belfast is the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year 2017 winner.
Taking on stiff competion from the nine other finalists, James's dishes of tortellini, roast chicken, butternut squash and lovage veloute, Tees Valley rib of beef, braised puy lentils and watercress, and a dessert of soft centerd chocolate and coffee tart with passion fruit curd.
National Chef of the Year 2017 finalists
The other finalists included: Danny Parker, head chef at House of Tides in Newcastle, Martin Carabott, senior sous chef at The Royal Automobile Club, Liam McKenna, head chef at Trump International, Paul Foster, chef patron of Salt, Stephanie Coupland, chef de partie at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Luciano Lucioli, head chef at Lusso – CH&Co. and Kamil Wierzbowski, sous chef at Petrus Restaurant, Gordon Ramsay.
As the winner, James Devine is now part of the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year 'Hall of Fame', which represents culinary excellence and offers the chance to meet and work with some of the most exciting industry names.
He also wins a range of special prizes including a once-in-a-lifetime trip to one of the world’s top restaurants, stagiaire opportunities, equipment from sponsors and chocolate workshops. Best of all, having won the life-changing title, James now has the chance to follow in the footsteps of some the country’s most successful chefs, such as Alyn Williams, Gordon Ramsay and Mark Sargeant who have all previously held the title.
National Chef of the Year 2017 judges
This year’s competition was one of the toughest yet, with an incredible list of high profile judges to impress, including Daniel Doherty - Group Executive Chef for Duck & Waffle Restaurants, Gary Jones - Executive Head Chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Claude Bosi - Chef Patron at Hibiscus and many more.