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Young London Chef Takes Kiwi Culinary Challenge

Press Release:

Young London Chef Takes Kiwi Culinary Challenge

Facing stiff competition from entrants across the UK, Ben Murphy, a 19 year old commis chef from Koffmann’s restaurant at The Berkeley, a five star hotel in London, has won the coveted NZ-UK Young Chef’s Culinary Challenge at a cook-off yesterday at Westminster’s Kingsway College.

With a superb three course menu which featured New Zealand venison and Manuka honey, Ben won the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to New Zealand on a three-week study trip working in the top restaurants, visiting award-winning vineyards and suppliers, with the option of one further week to explore the country. His award winning menu comprised langoustine tortellini, seared scallop, langoustine and saffron sauce; roast venison loin, spiced pickled pear, beetroot puree, celeriac and kumara fondant terrine, chocolate infused jus; and Manuka honey soufflé, lavender & yogurt ice-cream and pollen tuille.

Fellow entrants, Scott Kedwards, KPMG Birmingham was also highly commended for his starter of butternut squash veloute, Cornish pan seared scallops and Devon lobster tortellini and Luke Orwin, Tyne Met College for his dessert of Manuka honey tart, Autumn squash curd and raspberry sorbet.

Following the cookoff, well-known New Zealand celebrity chef of ‘The Providores and Tapa Room Restaurant’ London and founder of the awards, Peter Gordon presented this prestigious award at a special function held in the Penthouse Suite of New Zealand House, London.

Gordon commented: “This year, we received an overwhelming selection of high calibre entrants making it extremely hard to narrow down the choice to just eight finalists. Of the eight that were chosen, all did themselves proud on the day by producing some truly outstanding dishes. The quality of the entries is a fantastic indication of how highly respected the competition is amongst tutors and employers around the UK in regards to the advancement of their junior staff and students.”

David Mulcahy, Vice President, The Craft Guild of Chefs added: “The Craft Guild of Chefs has been involved in running the NZ Link Culinary Challenge from its inception and is delighted to support such a worthwhile competition. Young chefs play such an important part in shaping the future of our industry and it is encouraging to see such talent and enthusiasm from all the contestants. The finalists were all excellent on the day and our young winner will be a great young ambassador when he travels to New Zealand to take up his prize.”

The other finalists included:

Tom Biddle, Marriott Forest of Arden, Birmingham

Luke Bannister, Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Rebecca Mackie, Red Anywhere Catering, London

Adam Rawson, Viajante restaurant, London

Daniel Smith, Westminster Kingsway College, London

udges included David Mulcahy, Vice President Craft Guild of Chefs; Peter Gordon, Chef/Proprietor, The Providores and Tapa Room Restaurant; Steve Munkley, Executive Chef, Royal Garden Hotel;

Nigel Boschetti, Executive Chef, Grosvenor House; and Cristian Hossack, Head Chef, The Providores and Tapa Room Restaurant.

Peter Gordon, the inspiration behind this award, also urged young contenders thinking of entering:

“This is perhaps the best chance that you will have to experience New Zealand’s unique cuisine. On top of that, New Zealand is truly the most beautiful country, with some of the friendliest people. You’d be mad not to give this a go.”

The NZ-UK Young Chef’s Culinary Challenge is sponsored by the Craft Guild of Chefs, NZ-UK Link Foundation, Air New Zealand, Blue Seal, New Zealand Lamb, New Zealand Venison, Hildon Water, Comvita, Providores & Tapa Room Restaurant, Bleeding Heart Restaurant, Trinity Hill wines and NZTE.


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