Steve Groves is crowned National Chef of the Year 2020

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st October 2019

Steve Groves, head chef at Roux at Parliament Square has been named National Chef of the Year 2020 by The Craft Guild of Chefs

The third runner up in the competition was Nick Smith, head chef at Vacherin, and the second was Derek Johnstone, head chef at Borthwick Castle. 

Knowing he now holds the title of The National Chef of the Year, Steve Groves said: “I am delighted, relieved and surprised. It was hard work and those two hours went by in the blink of an eye but I focused on the flavours of the dish. I am incredibly pleased to win this title and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team, who I couldn’t have done this without.”

Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs, David Mulcahy who has organises the competition added: “What an amazing final we’ve seen today! Firstly, congratulations to Steve Groves who has done an incredible job and now becomes a true ambassador for our industry. When you take this title, it’s about more than what you have cooked today as the chefs who have won previously are still some of the most talked about figures in hospitality. Each year, we make sure that the competition is truly relevant to today’s diners and is addressing industry trends whilst putting all our finalists firmly on the map. It’s known as the hardest culinary competition in the UK which is why this title is so sought-after and the one competition every chef wants to win.”

The National Chef of the Year competition, designed to attract and encourage  talent in the hospitality industry, saw the three finalists compete against Nick Edgar, head chef at The Ryebeck Hotel, Ben Boeynaems, head chef at The Zetter Hotel, Harry Kirkpatrick, sous chef, Trinity Restaurant, Karl O’Dell, head chef at Texture London. 

The final took place at The Restaurant show. The six chefs cooked for a panel of chef judges including  Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Josh Overington, Alyn Williams, James 'Jocky' Petrie, Hywel Jones, Ben Tish and Stephen Terry.

They were required to make a bouillabaisse, followed by a dish of suckling pig and a pear tart.

As well as the NCOTY title and a lifelong membership to the Craft Guild of Chefs, the winner will visit Phil Howard's Elystan Street to celebrate, as well as a trip to Lebanon along with the two runners up and an array of gifts and vouchers. 

Last year's winner was Kuba Winkowski, then head chef at The Feathered Nest Inn in the Cotswolds - with previous winners including Luke Selby, Russell Bateman, Larry Jayasakara and Hrishikesh Desai.

Craft Guild of Chefs Chair Gary Jones said: "to get here today has been brilliant, the professionalism I've seen today has just been brilliant. In two hours to turn the brief into something for the judges was absolutely outstanding." 

"The Craft Guild is about raising skills of chefs in the UK," he said. 

He extended "a big thanks to the 120 who entered, the 40 that made it to the semi-finals and the 10 that made it to the finals," as well as " to everyone, friends, families and sponsors for their support." 

Young National Chef of the Year 

Also at the The Restaurant Show today was the Young National Chef of the Year Award - pitting 10 young chefs against one another for the title, which was won by  William Keeble, demi chef de partie at Whatley Manor. 

We met up with Steve Groves in 2015, watch him make two of his dishes in the video below:

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st October 2019

Steve Groves is crowned National Chef of the Year 2020