Margate chef reaches semi-finals of National Chef of the Year competition

Buoy and Oyster head chef Craig Edgell

An ambitious chef from Buoy and Oyster in Margate is celebrating after reaching the semi-finals of the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year competition. He is one of just 40 chefs shortlisted for this next stage of the UK’s most prestigious culinary title.

To get to this stage of the competition, Craig Edgell had to create a three-course menu. The brief was to focus on food waste and the creative use of ingredients as the UK and rest of the world grapple with the cost-of-living crisis, food inflation, supply chain disruption and ongoing global events. The NCOTY judges were keen to see how culinary skills, along with sustainable, local and global produce, were used to demonstrate an excellent understanding of ingredients.

The starter could be a fish, seafood or vegetarian dish with a focus on zero waste. Chefs had to demonstrate techniques that show waste reduction, whilst using ingredients which are harmonious and belong together.

Chefs were asked to create a lamb dish using two cuts of lamb and making use of ingredients, techniques and cooking styles that bring the very best from this main ingredient. For the final dish, competitors were required to produce a warm or cold dessert. The recipe had to include a savoury aspect to balance and marry the dessert.

In a mission to take one of just ten places in the final, Craig must now create an innovative vegan signature dish suitable as a small first course using one humble ingredient. Once all the entries have been received for this stage of the competition, a new panel of judges will whittle the 40 chefs down to ten finalists to compete in the cook-off at the University of West London in October.

Craig said: “This is the second year of entering, and now the second time to be shortlisted as a top 40 semi finalist. To be part of this prestigious competition is a honour and hope to see myself go further this year ”

The winner will not only receive the most sought-after chef title in the UK, but they will take home a host of impressive prizes including culinary experiences, equipment and trips of a lifetime.

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