Hospitality Big Hitters Join Best Brigades Judging Panel

Essential  Cuisine

Essential Cuisine

Standard Supplier 6th March 2017

Hospitality Big Hitters Join Best Brigades Judging Panel

Executive Head Chef at Hertfordshire’s world-famous The Grove, Harry Lomas MBE, and Executive Development Chef at the University of Warwick, Graham Crump, have been revealed as judges in Essential Cuisine’s 2017 search for the UK’s hardest working, hardest cooking chef teams – Britain’s Best Brigades.
The highly respected pair, no strangers to judging high-profile culinary competitions, including, amongst others, the prestigious Salon Culinaire, Springboard Future Chef and TUCO Chefs Challenge, bring a wealth of experience to Essential Cuisine’s nationwide search, now in its third year.

With a new format that will shine a spotlight on the skills of kitchen teams from eight dedicated sectors – Healthcare, Restaurants, Hotels, Business & Industry, Schools, Universities and Colleges, Event Caterers and Pubs – the competition will see one brigade from each going forward as a finalist.

The appointments of Graham and Harry ensure that chefs from both the profit and cost sectors are represented. With a background as a highly respected development chef and former protégé of Anton Mosimann, Essential Cuisine MD Nigel Crane completes the judging trio.

Nigel says: “In Harry and Graham we truly have two of the industry’s big hitters helping us decide on which brigades deserve to go through as finalists. The choice to have representatives from opposing sides of the industry was a deliberate one – both understand that skills and teamwork are as much alive in the restaurant sector as they are in healthcare, and that while menu constraints may differ, the dedication does not. It’s this ethos that forms the cornerstone of Best Brigades.”

Entries to the competition are still open – all teams have to do is go to:, and leave a few details about the personalities, passion and plates of food that make their kitchen operations stand out.

Following the judging of paper submissions, eight brigades will be tasked with bringing their entries to life in the form of a 60-second video. The eventual winners will be decided by way of a public vote.

Alongside the coveted title, a prize of £1000 cash towards a team knees-up plus a bespoke menu development masterclass with a leading UK chef are up for grabs. New for 2017, teams will be able to nominate a charity which will receive 50p for every vote registered. The seven runners-up will each receive £300.

To enter, visit

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. 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.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you