Team UK, supported by ex-student Nathan, wins place in Bocuse d'Or final
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After a gruelling semi-final held in Torino, Italy, chefs Tom Phillips, Adam Bennett, and UCB graduate Nathan Lane have earned a place in the final of the most prestigious cookery competition in the world.
It was an excellent result for the team, after technical issues got them off to a rocky start. Team captain Tom Phillips, sous chef at Michelin-star Restaurant Story in South London, is the youngest ever UK representative for the competition. Along with commis chef Nathan, who studied Professional Cookery at UCB before progressing to his dream job as chef at The Ritz, and Adam Bennett, former team captain and executive chef at the Cross at Kenilworth, the team – officially sponsored by UCB - will now head to Lyon to face the contest's notorious final round.
“The team did everybody proud,” said UK team president Brian Turner. “They put their backs into everything and worked endlessly to prove we have a great reputation for gastronomy.”
After months of hard work and preparation, the team was faced with a nail-biting five hours and 35 minutes heat in Turin split into two challenges. The first required chefs to produce 15 identical plates incorporating hard Italian cheese Castelmagno, hens’ eggs and spaghetti. The second, a meat platter, featured a fillet of Fassona Pietmontese beef, calf sweetbreads and Baraggia Biellesse and Vercellese rice. Chef Andreas Antona, Bocuse d’Or UK Academy chair, praised the team for qualifying under “immense pressure”.
The final will involve challenges conducted over the same period of time, overseen by a jury of 24 top chefs, who will be split in half to judge the meat and the fish dishes separately. The prize for the team with the highest overall score is the Bocuse d’Or trophy and €20,000. It will take place on 29-30 January 2019.
The UK menu for the European qualifiers:
L’Oeuf d’Or –
A soft-boiled hen’s egg with garlic filigree, market salad, Albenga asparagus with almond and an emulsion of Castelmagno cheese
Filet de Boeuf Façon Wellington
Fassona Piemontese beef fillet, veal sweetbread, ham and tongue baked in a puff pastry crust, with Wye valley asparagus, Old Winchester cheese and Yorkshire wild garlic
Salt-baked Staffordshire turnip and wild horseradish
Fried beetroot and Baraggia Biellese and Vercellese rice cake with Scottish pine vinegar
English pea custard and garden vegetable salad
Beef jus with truffle