Ben Murphy is the winner of National Chef of the Year 2022

Alex South

Alex South


Ben Murphy, Chef patron of Launceston Place Restaurant, has been crowned winner of the National Chef of the Year competition.

Ben’s winning menu consisted of Butter Poached Pollock, Radish and Oscietra followed by Lake District Young Fallow, Watercress, Onion, Batek Pepper with a dessert of Clementine, Honey, Tahitensis Vanilla and Yoghurt.

This year’s competition represented a closely fought battle which resulted in a lot of discussion from the judges. This included Kenny Atkinson, Gary Jones, Stephen Terry, James Golding, Aktar Islam, Anthony Demetre, Nathan Davies, James Mackenzie, Nieves Barragán Mohacho and James Petrie.

Commenting on his win, Ben told The Staff Canteen: "For me it's quite a personal thing as well, 10 years since I was on the Young National Chef of the Year and then I won that in 2012, so this is personal and obviously with the whole process, the mousse which we had to do, which was linked to my grandma, the menu that I do daily, it means a lot. It's pretty surreal."

Highlighting the star-studded attendees and the importance of his team, Ben said: "Gordon Ramsey is a massive influence, I've worked with Pierre Koffmann he taught Ramsay and Marco Pierre White, all these big names and then a hundred plus people out here was insane. I'm still lots of words, I don't know what to say. I'm overwhelmed obviously and it's not sunk in yet but for me it's more of achievement for my team as well because they're the guys that work with me day in day to put these dishes together on a menu, and obviously then I'm just transferring that from what we do in the restaurant to the competition, so yeah and achievment for me but also my team as well."


Taking the runner-up spot this year was Matthew Smith, head chef at Inver Restaurant & Rooms with April Lily Partridge, chef from The Ledbury claiming her place in this year’s top three.

Commenting on this year’s competition David Mulcahy, Food Innovation & Sustainability Director at Sodexo UK and Ireland added: “We couldn’t have asked for a better celebration of fifty years of the competition, and it’s been an honour to welcome so many past winners to play a part tonight.”

Congratulating Ben on his win, David added: “The reason this competition has spanned half a century is down to the way we have developed it year on year to address the industry’s biggest issues and attracted the highest level of talent to enter and judge this competition. I know that Ben is joining a long list of incredible chefs who have become real ambassadors for our industry.”

The National Chef of the Year competition commemorates 50 years this year and a celebratory event was held at The Berkeley with a Who’s Who hospitality guest list. A special golden anniversary menu was created by former NCOTY winners including Russell Bateman, Alyn Williams, Hrishikesh Desai and Steve Groves.

Previous winners were also in attendance with a VIP guest list including Gordon Ramsay who won in 1992; the competition’s second ever winner Brian Price; 2004 title holder Steve Love, Frederick Forster who took the trophy in 2011 and 2019 champion, Kuba Winkowski.

The competition was supported by Boiron, CCS, Churchill, KNORR, Valrhona, Ritter Courivaud and Lumina.


The prestigious title of Young National Chef of the Year was awarded to Mae Dionio from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

Mae created a starter of Mayfield Hen’s egg with mushroom, lemongrass and ginger tea. Her main course was Confit salted Norwegian Cod with piquillo pepper, garden courgette, crispy salted cod and chorizo brandade, shellfish sauce. Apple tarte tatin with miso ice cream was her dessert.

Finishing in second place was Theo Hadjitofi from De Banke Group with Liam Rogers from Gleneagles in third place.

Chefs were asked to create an egg starter which included at least three or more of the following Future 50 Foods; pumpkin, heritage root vegetables, watercress, beans, pulses, cereals or grains.

For the main course, the chefs had to serve up a Provencal inspired dish using a choice of Norwegian haddock or cod fillet. The finalists served up a modern interpretation of a classic puff pastry dessert.

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 31st October 2022

Ben Murphy is the winner of National Chef of the Year 2022