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Scottish restaurants dominate at National Chef of the Year competition

15/11/2023
Alex Angelogiannis and Matthew Smith receiving their awards

TWO CHEFS from Scotland achieved first and second place in the National Chef of the Year competition. Alex Angelogiannis, 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. 

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. The impressive list of judges was a ‘Who’s Who’ in the culinary world including Kenny Atkinson, Matt Abe, James Petrie, Anna Haugh, Brett Graham, Tom Shepherd and Phil Howard.

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To take 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.

After the challenging task of selecting the winner, Chair of judges, Kenny Atkinson, chef patron of House of Tides and Solstice said: “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.”

After finding out he had taken the title, 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.”

Whilst the title of National Chef of the Year is the prize that every chef is after, the competition is about so much more as the Craft Guild of Chefs aims to help develop and nurture the winner and provide culinary opportunities like no other. 

Essential Cuisine and Lumina will be taking the top three on a two-day culinary trip to Liverpool. 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 2nd restaurant, Barnacle, set in the famous Duke Street Market. These 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.

The prizes also include £500 and one year of membership courtesy of the Craft Guild of Chefs; an incredible two-day French experience visiting the Cité du Chocolat – the much talked about Valrhona factory; £500 to spend on the products of their choice in the Continental Chef Supplies (CCS) catering equipment range; 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.

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