Unstoppable Nathan crowned champ in top young chef competition

November 2019

An unstoppable former University College Birmingham student who represented England in the most prestigious culinary competition in the world has come out victorious at the British Culinary Federation’s Young Chef of the Year.

Winning an automatic place in the Young National Chef of the Year final, Nathan Lane is proving to be one of the industry’s brightest lights after clinching this year’s trophy for young talent from one of the UK’s most influential chef associations.

Nathan, chef de partie at Michelin-starred The Cross at Kenilworth and former UCB Level 3 Professional Cookery student, was up against 14 finalists working at some at the best restaurants in the country. The final was held in the training kitchens at University College Birmingham.

Nathan’s winning menu comprised tartlet of oeufs mollet, wild mushroom duxelle, hollandaise sauce, herb salad, truffle purée; pan-roasted ribeye of Irish beef, roscoff onion farci, carrot braised in beef fat, crushed celeriac, crispy potato, bordelaise sauce; and Grand Marnier soufflé, pain d’epice, crème Chantilly.

He beat Sam King of the Ritz London and Luke Draper of Cheal’s of Henley, a UCB BA (Hons) Culinary Arts Management graduate, into second and third place in the competition, open to chefs aged 23 and under.

Winning the title is yet further proof that the 21-year-old is going places in the industry. In January, he was part of Team England in the finals of the Bocuse d’Or, considered the top culinary competition in the world. The team finished in the top 10 countries.

Nathan said: “I put a lot of time and effort into preparing for this competition outside of my working hours, so to be announced as the winner was a massive weight off my shoulders.

“It’s been a crazy year for me and this was the cherry on the cake – it’s ended the year in a very positive way.”

As well as receiving the David Bache Trophy, Nathan was presented with a cheque for £500, commemorative plate, framed certificate, a special dispenser presented by Wrapmaster, a gift box from Major, an invitation to a celebration lunch courtesy of Villeroy & Boch, plus automatic entry into the National Young Chef of the Year 2020 competition.

Proudly for the University, no fewer than six of this year's finalists studied their profession at UCB’s College of Food and Hospitality Management.

In addition to Nathan and Luke, these were Angelina Adamo, Simpsons, Birmingham, Theo Hadjitofi, DeBanke Group, Warwickshire, Amrita Phull, Buckland Manor, Broadway, Worcestershire, and Cameron McNally, University College Birmingham.

Competition judges were Glynn Purnell, Purnell’s restaurant, Birmingham; Paul Foster, Salt, Stratford-upon-Avon; Peter Joyner, food development chef director, Elior; Stuart McLeod, chef director, Zuidam; Idris Caldora, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Chef Adopt-A-School and David Colcombe, visiting professor, Culinary Arts, University College Birmingham.

One of the main aims of the British Culinary Federation is to encourage and support young chefs to strive for excellence within their chosen profession. This competition is an opportunity for young chefs to demonstrate their culinary skills and talent.

Find out about our range of courses at our College of Food and Hospitality Management

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