Meet the National Chef of the Year 2018 finalists: Ben Champkin

The Staff Canteen

National Chef of the Year 2018 finalist, Ben Champkin is sous chef at L’Enclume in Cumbria.

Like most chefs, Ben’s career started as a pot wash at his local pub at the age of 14. After completing his NVQ 2 and 3 the young chef went to work for Simon Hulstone at his Michelin starred restaurant and brasserie, The Elephant in Torquay. Ben now works with Simon Rogan at his two Michelin starred restaurant, L’Enclume in Cartwell, Cumbria.

How did it feel to get through to the final?

Incredible, after all the practice myself and my commis chef Spencer Metzger put into leading up to the semi final.

Why did you enter national chef of the year?

After being successful and winning the Young National Chef of the Year in 2013 I always said to myself that in a few years I wanted to give the National Chef of the Year a shot when I was old enough to do so.
Never wanting to stand still I always like to push myself and give myself a personal goal to achieve. Competitions take you out of your comfort zone as well as meeting great peers along the way. There is a lot to learn within competitions, not only about yourself but in other chefs dishes and techniques.

On Tuesday, October 3 a new National Chef of the Year will be crowned. We take a closer look at this year's finalists hoping to produce winning dishes at the final at The Restaurant Show, which will impress the judging panel.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th September 2017

Meet the National Chef of the Year 2018 finalists: Ben Champkin