Meet the BCF Chef of the Year 2018 finalists: Mark Stinchcombe

The  Staff Canteen

BCF Chef of the Year 2018 finalist, Mark Stinchcombe is head chef at Eckington Manor in Worcestershire.


Mark's love of food began while he was still at school and he subsequently entered the kitchens of the acclaimed Royal Crescent in Bath, undertaking a work experience placement at just 16 years old.

He has previously worked at two Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage creating classic French cuisine joining as a chef de partie, working his way around the kitchen. He soon progressed to the role of sous chef, where he was able to hone and develop his knowledge on flavour and technique – pushing flavour to the forefront of the food and this is something he has subsequently incorporated into his menu at Eckington Manor.

He has also worked at Lucknam Park in Bath under the mentorship of Chef Hywel Jones. Mark says “It was amazing and he helped push me into the competition scene which made me want to go out and do all of it. I necessarily wouldn’t have done it without his guidance he was like a mentor to me, helped me through the harder times in the industry and helped me go forward.”

Mark has also previously worked at the Michelin-starred Driftwood in Cornwall as a chef de partie for two years working with chef Chris Eden and has undertaken training stages in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the world, including The Fat Duck, Le Manoir and The Square.

Mark has previously entered and won MasterChef: The Professionals in 2015, impressing the judges with his dishes. He has also won the titles of Young National Chef of the Year and The Academy of Culinary Arts. Reflecting upon his competition experience, he says "I have done them to take myself out of the security of being behind the stove and having the team around you and just being able to push myself. I have previously done MasterChef with two of them, the people in the BCF final are a nice group of people and I enjoy the camaraderie as much as the competition itself. "

How does it feel to be a finalist?

It’s amazing, all the hard work that you put in (coming up with the recipes and ideas) and just being able to go up there and enjoy it and cook the two dishes within the time and make sure it runs smoothly, but it’s always a good thing.

Competitions have been such a big thing I have done throughout my career, you have to go with an open mind – all we are trying to do is to showcase the food that we are doing here at the Manor and put it out to a wider audience.

Why did you enter BCF Chef of the Year?

It’s amazing, all the hard work that you put in (coming up with the recipes and ideas) and just being able to go up there and enjoy it and cook the two dishes within the time and make sure it runs smoothly, but it’s always a good thing.

Competitions have been such a big thing I have done throughout my career, you have to go with an open mind – all we are trying to do is to showcase the food that we are doing here at the Manor and put it out to a wider audience.

There will be a butchery masterclass taking place on April 9th at Aubrey Allen, where the chefs will find out what cut of meat they will be using in the final.

On April 23rd, a new BCF Chef of the Year will be crowned. We take a closer look at this year’s finalists hoping to produce winning dishes in the final at University College, Birmingham which will impress the judging panel.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th April 2018

Meet the BCF Chef of the Year 2018 finalists: Mark Stinchcombe