SCOTS restaurants have wowed many after achieving first and second place in the National Chef of the Year competition.
Chefs Alex Angelogiannis and Matthew Smith left many stunned after placing first and second place last month in the UK’s National Chef of the Year competition.
The talented chefs showcased their skills in an intense cook-off at the University of West London last month under the eyes of some of the leading names in hospitality.
Alex Angelogiannis, who works as a senior sous chef from the Glenturret Lalique Restaurant in Crieff, was crowned the winner, with Matthew Smith, head chef from Inver Restaurant in Argyll & Bute taking the runner-up spot.
Achieving the title, Alex served up a starter of line caught mackerel, guts and all. His main course was a best end of Lumina lamb, rib, Coppa and offal dolma, followed by a dessert of Valrhona chocolate & beetroot, lovage and brambles.
Matthew created a menu of pumpkin/squid for starter, lamb/blackcurrant for main course and a dessert of chocolate/seaweed.
The impressive list of judges was a ‘Who’s Who’ in the culinary world and included: Kenny Atkinson, Matt Abe, James Petrie, Anna Haugh, Brett Graham, Tom Shepherd and Phil Howard.
In addition to being a well-sought after title, the National Chef of the Year aims to help develop and nurture the winner and provide culinary opportunities like no other.
The competition prizes also include being gifted £500 and a one year of membership courtesy of the Craft Guild of Chefs.
Winners can also expect an incredible two-day French experience visiting the Cité du Chocolat; £500 to spend on Continental Chef Supplies (CCS) catering equipment; an exclusively designed and framed winners’ plate as well as £500 worth of Churchill products and a magnum of Champagne Collet from Hallgarten & Novum Wines.
Speaking on his win, Alex said: “I’m really proud the first two places went to Scotland; a lot of my craft I learned in Scotland.
“I feel ecstatic to take this title and was so happy with the dishes I put out for the incredible list of judges.”
Chair of judges, Kenny Atkinson, chef patron of House of Tides and Solstice added: “I knew this was going to be an incredible final, but it’s exceeded all my expectations.
“Knowing how hard it was for us to select the finalists, picking a winner was never going to be an easy task and today all the chefs have cooked from their hearts and shown incredible skill.”
The top three will also be treated to a two-day culinary trip to Liverpool, provided by organisations Essential Cuisine and Lumina.
This experience will include visits to a local distillery, a regional independent supplier and a masterclass by one of the UK’s leading chefs, Paul Askew, followed by a private dining experience at his restaurant, The Art School.
Further dining takes place at Paul’s second restaurant, Barnacle, set in the famous Duke Street Market.
The chefs will also be whisked away on a culinary experience in the heart of London which will include 3 Michelin-Star dining and an overnight stay thanks to CCS.