George Kataras from M Threadneedle Street wins the UK S.Pellegrino Young Chef final

The Staff Canteen

George Kataras from M Threadneedle Street will represent the UK and Ireland at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 Global Final in Milan in October 2016.

On Tuesday, June 21 2016, a panel of the UK and Ireland’s leading chefs - who hold five Michelin stars between them – named George Kataras from M Threadneedle Street as the best emerging chef talent from the UK and Ireland. The live cook-off for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 competition was held at Waitrose Cookery School.

 George Kataras has been selected as one of 20 global finalists, chosen from thousands of chefs across 190 countries and will represent the UK and Ireland in the final showdown in Milan on the 13th October 2016.

Following a tough decision, George from M Restaurants was chosen for his winning dish of Whole Turbot, he said: “My dish was inspired by the summer and my favourite seasonal ingredients. I like to cook without using any food wastage - people waste too much food and we really need to do something about it! My dish includes the bones and head of Turbot, which both add lots of flavour to the sauces. It’s a dish that’s now included on my menu. To win the S.Pellegrino UK and Ireland final is a dream come true and I can’t wait to perfect my dish with Claude Bosi in the lead up to the global Milan final.”

The judging panel of four acclaimed chefs - Claude Bosi o­­­f Hibiscus (London), Ollie Dabbous of Dabbous (London), JP McMahon of Cava Bodega (Galway) and Ross Lewis of Chapter One (Dublin) – agonisingly tasted and deliberated over the signature dishes of ten young chefs during a nail biting event lasting over three hours.

 Claude Bosi who will mentor  George said: “The calibre of dishes presented this evening was hugely impressive, but George's dish of Whole Turbot stood out with its flavour, the skill involved, beauty of presentation and the true message behind it. I look forward to taking George Kataras to the grand final in Milan.”

George now faces the ultimate test in Milan, where Claude will guide him through the intricate process of perfecting his signature dish.

Last year Clare Smyth mentired the UK winner Mark Moriarty and Claude was not too proud to say he was feeling the pressure to do it again. He said: “If we don't Clare will take the piss! No one would have expected the UK to come first last year but can we come first again? We will have to wait and see. 

"I’m honoured to be part of the S.Pellegrino global search to find the best young chef talent in the world of fine dining and I’m looking forward to helping George perfect his/her dish before the final in Milan – it would be great to see the UK & Ireland winner victorious for a second year running!”

George said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to win the S.Pellegrino UK & Ireland Young Chef title and I’m very excited to represent our region in Milan.  S.Pellegrino has given me such a fantastic opportunity to be trained by some of the best chefs in the world, as well as putting my name on a global stage. The final will be a great opportunity to meet and compete against other young chefs from across the globe and I will do my best to impress!”

George  will now enter the final phase of the competition where his dish will be judged by a panel of judges at the Milan final that reads like a who’s who of contemporary gastronomy: David Higgs, Carlo Cracco, Gaggan Anand, Elena Arzak, Mauro Colagreco, Wylie Dufresne and Roberta Sudbrack.

>>> Read more about the S.Pellegrino Young Chef here

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd June 2016

George Kataras from M Threadneedle Street wins the UK S.Pellegrino Young Chef final