Earlier this month, Nick Smith was crowned (or ‘toqued’) National Chef of the Year 2020 and Edwin Kuk was named Youngest National Chef of the Year. This had us at Berkeley Scott feeling inspired. After a fairly difficult and uncertain year, it feels like positive news is in short supply, so we wanted to create our own celebration, which came in the form of an award for a well-deserving chef! We decided to launch our own award, to showcase some of the fantastic talent that we have at Berkeley Scott.
After receiving an abundance of fabulous entries (and photos that made us hungry) we narrowed it down to three finalists – and here they are with their delicious plates of food:
Winner: Wayne Lyons
Pan-seared rum and sugarcane cured loin of lamb served on top of a phyllo wafer with a lamb curry sauce accompanied by a succulent arancini made with tender shredded lamb neck and risotto rice finished with a petit roasted rack of lamb garnished with purée of spiced carrot and roasted garlic and spinach.
The lamb is prepared four ways. Half of the rack of lamb is deboned then cured in rum and sugarcane then pan-seared the other half of the rack is marinated roasted and the trim is curried. The neck is confit until tender then formed into an arancini ball.
About the winner:
This dish represents is a culmination of the years I’ve spent the US & the UK. Given my Afro Caribbean heritage, I’ve combined Flavour Profiles represented in this dish along with culinary techniques that I’ve picked up working back home and here in the UK.
For example, an example of the fusion described would the curried lamb topped with a Filo and Chickpea wafer paired with a Rum and Sugar Cane Cured Loin Of Lamb.
My culinary journey started with watching my Grandmother cooking Johnny cakes and my Grandfather cooking salted codfish, tomatoes, onions and peppers. My memory is that there were always amazing smells coming from their kitchen which luckily for me was in the upstairs of our two-family home located in Hollis Queens NYC.
Thirty years later working for Marriott then owning and running a catering company and restaurant, moving to the UK, working in Development then working for you all. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with many talented chefs that have openly shared their love and passion & knowledge with me. Although some were mentors and others just gifted colleagues I benefited greatly from our friendship!
Finalist: John Alexander
Chicken cassoulet with vegetable rice (Can also be made vegetarian)
My dish is simple but effective as I am working as a community lecturer in a college. It’s all about cooking teaching dishes that are affordable during COVID & good for mental health. People who come to the classes have a range of disabilities & enjoy this type of food so I am keeping it real, no-fuss food, lots of flavours, colour and tasty!
Finalist: Martin Hunt
Pulled smoked chicken tacos
This is my signature dish. It’s a Pulled smoked Chicken taco. Its real comfort food dish. My dish has lots of flavour and with fresh-made tacos and home-made guacamole, and finished off with a salsa verde. This is really on-trend at moment with the whole street food scene. It’s a really easy dish to make and very flavoursome. In my career of 20 years, I’ve worked at The Belfry Hotel and the highlight of that was working at the 2001 Ryder Cup. I’ve also worked for Amadeus at the NEC. There are lots of chefs who have influenced my career from celebrity chefs to people I’ve worked with over the years – but I feel that you learn every day as a chef and you never stop developing your skills and dishes.
If your business requires a Chef on a temporary or permanent basis – please contact us today: https://www.berkeley-scott.co.uk/contact-us/
Read more about National Chef of the Year here: https://www.nationalchefoftheyear.co.uk/