James Devine: Top five tips on how to win National Chef of the Year

The  Staff Canteen

James Devine is currently working as a chef at Noble Restaurant in County Down, Belfast, after winning the title of National Chef of the Year 2017.

James has previously worked as a kitchen porter in a local and head chef at the Black Cat Restaurant and Deli in Dungannon. Since winning National Chef of the Year, the former sous chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant, Deanes EIPIC, is set to open a second restaurant with the owners of Noble Restaurant, in which he’ll be a partner.

James Devine's top five tips on how to win National Chef of the Year 2018

1 - Devise a menu that you are comfortable with. It's a very strange, unknown environment and it's vital that you know your menu inside out to help deal with any circumstances which may go against you.

2 - Remain calm. Even when things go wrong, and things will go wrong (with 12 minutes to go I had to cook and serve my dessert, it required 12 minutes cooking time, and are oven stopped working) take a deep breath and ask yourself what would you do in a restaurant/kitchen setting.

3 - Cook for yourself, not the judges. Imagine it's a pop up restaurant at the Olympia and you're putting on a menu for customers, not judges. Provide a menu based on flavour, not technical skill or showmanship.

4 - Drink water, before, during and after!

5 - Last and definitely most important, make sure and have a pre-game dump! Vital!

By Grace Handley

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th September 2017

James Devine: Top five tips on how to win National Chef of the Year