Julien Pickersgill wins 2013 BCF Young Chef of the Year

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th November 2013

Julien Pickersgill has been named the BCF Young Chef of the Year 2013, following yesterday’s hotly contested final in Birmingham.

After being whittled down by paper judging, 17 contestants came from all across the UK including Northern Ireland, London and Torquay to battle it out for the coveted prize and were asked to produce a three course meal for two covers in two hours.

Julien Pickersgill, BCF Young Chef of the Year 2013, Pic by Ed Price - 4th Wall Media
Julien Pickersgill

As well as receiving the David Bache trophy, Julien also receives a cheque for £250, commemorative plate, framed certificate and an all expenses paid study trip to Luxembourg.

Mark Hill, Julien's executive chef at House of Commons, gave The Staff Canteen his reaction to the news:

"We are delighted that Julien has been crowned British Culinary Federation Young Chef of the Year. This was Julien's second attempt and since his last return he has been working towards improving his skills and food knowledge, working closely with his mentor David Bush, trying to infuse as much flavour and technical ability and skills into all the components on his dishes. "Julien, like most of the other chefs, had no idea of the results until later on at the ceremony and he is still in awe of winning. He now has his sights on next year's National Young Chef of the Year and is working on his skills and dishes as we speak."

The winning menu included Cornish mackerel with fennel and Muscat grape salad to start, Barbary duck with gingered carrots and charred broccoli as a main and lime leaf ice cream, organic yoghurt sponge and bitter chocolate crumb and Mont Tauch 'Maury' gel in a Caraibe Chocolate Marquise sweet dish.

Peter Griffiths MBE, president of the British Culinary Federation, oversaw the 16th edition of the competition which was open to chefs who were under 23 years of age and he was suitably impressed with what the youngsters had to offer. He said: “It was an extremely successful competition and probably the highest standard we have ever seen. It was extremely tight and there were a lot of culinary skills on show. One of the judges commented that the food he judged last night was better than the standard he produced when he was their age!"

Lee Warren of Haileybury College in Hertfordshire went one better than last year’s third place finish to take the 2013 runners-up spot while Matthew Ryle from The Dorchester, London rounded off the top three. Idris Caldora MCA, who was part of the judging panel, was very impressed with the standard of cooking on show. He said: “As food innovation develops, young chefs are quickly learning and developing their own skills, particularly in competition scenario and it has come on leaps and bounds in the last 20 years. It is very rewarding to see.

He added: “It took a long deliberation at the end with so many individuals who could have taken the first place. Julien managed to produce two very good dishes which really stood out to just push him over the edge to win the competition but there were a number of chefs who could have won, but Julien just cooked better on the day.”

As well as winning overall, Julien also picked up the award for best starter while local Leonidas Kattou from Simpson’s Restaurant in Birmingham won the prize for the best main course. Lee Warren was judged as having the best sweet dish.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th November 2013

Julien Pickersgill wins 2013 BCF Young Chef of the Year