Richard Dutton, Chef Lecturer at UCB’s College of Food, has come third in the hotly-contested British Culinary Federation’s coveted Chef of the Year.
Judged by two Michelin star restaurant owner Sat Bains, Brian Turner, Roger Narbett and UCB graduate Adam Smith, Richard was up against nine of the UK’s best chefs in the final of the competition won by Ian Musgrave, sous chef at The Ritz, London.
In a close final held at UCB, Richard was also proud to see former UCB student Edward Marsh, junior sous chef at The Manor House, Castle Coombe, take second place.
Richard’s place on the podium was made even more impressive by the fact that it was the first competition he had entered in a decade.
“I thought I had retired from competitions, but here I am,” said Richard. “The standard was very high, but on the day, I felt quietly confident I was in with a chance. I, essentially, recreated the dishes I made in the semi-final, but tweaked and refined them to bring them up to final standard. It was fantastic to make the top three.”
Competitors had to cook three courses, a starter, main and dessert for two covers, in just two hours. Judges included Ashley Palmer-Watts, Dinner at Heston Blumenthal, Sat Bains, Restaurant Sat Bains, Adam Smith, Coworth Park, Brian Turner CBE, Pierre Koffmann, Roger Narbett MCA and Martin Carabott , the current BCF Chef of the Year and Roux Scholar 2018.
Pierre Koffman, three Michelin-starred chef, said: “I think that the standard was very high. There were one or two dishes that I would have given 20 out of 20. Overall, it was a very good competition."
Awards were presented at a dinner ceremony at UCB by Brian Turner CBE. Guests enjoyed a six course meal with matching wines, including lemon sole supplied by Channel Fisheries, sirloin of Irish beef from Aubrey Allen and Bord Bia and a selection of artisan cheeses from Fromage to Age.
The other BCF Chef of the Year 2018 finalists were Matthew Nicholls, sous chef, Cheal’s of Henley, Josh Donachie, sous chef, The Frog, Leonidas Kattou, senior sous chef, Simpson’s Restaurant, Greg Newman, head chef, The Kings Hotel, Chipping Campden, Jamie Coleman, head chef, Masons Arms, Ashley Sargent, head chef, Clare College, Cambridge, and Mark Stinchcombe, head chef, Eckington Manor.
Richard’s winning menu was:
Poached langoustine, Jersey Royals, courgette ribbons
Sirloin of Irish beef, potato puree, sprouting broccoli, English asparagus
Yorkshire rhubarb, custard, pistachio cake