A talented and ambitious Thanet chef has reached the semi-finals of the National Chef of the Year competition after creating a three course menu which impressed Michelin-starred chef, Kenny Atkinson, who leads the judging panel.
Craig Edgell, head chef at the Buoy and Oyster in Margate, is one of 40 chefs still in the running to take the most sought-after title in the British culinary scene.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the competition and the judges are looking for the next person to follow in the footsteps of recent champions Thomas Swaby, Nick Smith and Steve Groves. National Chef of the Year was first run in 1972 and winners in the last fifty years have also included Gordon Ramsay, Simon Hulstone and Alyn Williams.
Now in a bid to take one of the top ten spots, Craig must create a short video, to present an amuse bouche style signature dish that reflects his own favourite style of cooking or cuisine. The video should explain what the dish is, why it is important to the chef and how it links to the theme.
Chefs will also answer some questions posed by chair of judges, Kenny Atkinson who wants to know more about their original entry and what winning would mean to them. Once all the entries have been received a new panel of judges will whittle them down to ten finalists to compete in the cook-off at Le Cordon Bleu in September.
Craig said: “To reach the semi finals is unreal, even to get this far I’m over the moon, I’m so pleased to represent the food scene not only at buoy, but all the hospitality outlets here in the ever growing Margate and hopefully a voice to get us some more junior chefs in to the trade we know and love.”
The winner will receive the sought-after chef title in the UK and take home a host of impressive prizes including culinary experiences, equipment and trips.
The Buoy and Oyster has won a clutch of awards, most recently top Kent restaurant in the Muddy Stilettos Awards. It is also one of the only venues on the isle to hold 2AA rosettes.
Buoy and Oyster, at 44 High Street, is open for all day dining Noon-9pm, seven days a week
Find the Buoy and Oyster online at www.buoyandoyster.co.uk