The National Chef of the Year 2018 is Luke Selby

The Staff Canteen

Luke Selby former head chef at Dabbous is the National Chef of the Year 2018.

Competing against 9 other finalists at the Restaurant Show Luke took the top spot, cooking a starter of Sea vegetable minestrone, mussels and farfalle pasta, roasted fallow deer, blackberry, celeriac, sprouts and bacon for main and warm walnut almondine, ginger infused Bramley puree, caramelised cox apple for dessert and wowing the judges.

Luke who won the Roux Scholarship earlier in the year and was Young National Chef of the Year 2014 said: "It was a massive shock, I wasn't expecting it at all especially looking at the calibre of guys I was competing against. I was really second guessing if I had done enough."

He added: "It was hard work, I committed to this and the Roux Scholarship and I worried i had taken on too much but I put a lot of work into it and it has paid off."

The other finalists were Ben Champkin, sous chef at L’EnclumeDavid Davey-Smith, chef, from Royal Air Force Worthy DownKarl O’Dell, senior sous chef from PetrusGordon RamsayThomas Westerland, sous chef from Lucknam ParkDean Westcar, head chef at Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam ParkKuba Winkowski, head chef at The Feathered Nest InnWill Holland, executive chef at The Atlantic Hotel.

Taking a close second was Adam Thomason, head chef at Restaurant Associates – Deloitte and in third place was Simon Webb, head chef at Restaurant Associates.

This year, for the first year, Gary Jones from Le Manoir was the chair of judges and he told The Staff Canteen why Luke took the top spot this year: "Luke had three consistent dishes and that's what you are looking for as a judge, he really hit it. He deserves it."

On this year's National Chef of the Year final he said: "We knew with this line-up we were going to get some great food today. The standard year on year keeps going up but this year was a leap and it's the strongest results I've seen  for both junior and the senior competitors." 

As the winner, Luke is now part of the National Chef of the Year 'Hall of Fame', which represents culinary excellence and offers the chance to meet and work with some of the most exciting industry names.

Having won the life-changing title, Luke now has the chance to follow in the footsteps of some the country’s most successful chefs, such as Alyn Williams, Gordon Ramsay and Mark Sargeant who have all previously held the title.

This year’s competition was one of the toughest yet, with an incredible list of high profile judges to impress, including Simon Hulstone, Claude Bosi, Phil Howard, Tom Kerridge, Simon Rogan and many more.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd October 2017

The National Chef of the Year 2018 is Luke Selby