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Gary Kilminster competes in BCF Chef of the Year Competition!

23rd June 2023

Earlier this month, The British Culinary Federation held its 'Chef of the Year' final at the Birmingham College of Food. After the initial judging, thirteen competitors were selected and were asked to submit menu consisting of a starter which had to include fish or shellfish and a dessert using maple syrup courtesy of Canadian Maple Syrup.

Essential Cuisine's Business Development Manager, Gary Kilminster was selected as one of the thirteen finalists alongside a very experienced line of up of chefs working across the foodservice industry. 
Gary explained, "Once the news was announced, all finalists were invited by title sponsors, Aubrey Allen, for a butchery masterclass based around Irish grass fed beef. All competitors were asked to use a flat iron steak, plus the techniques gained during the masterclass for their main course."

Gary’s menu consisted of:

Jurassic Coast Butter Basted Halibut, Mussel Arancini, Tomato Fondue, Shellfish Sauce

Isle of Wight Garlic Marinated Flat Iron Steak, Celeriac Puree, Creamed Mushrooms, Boulangère Potatoes, Bordelaise Sauce

Cherry & Maple Souffle, Toasted Pecan & Maple Ice Cream

Gary added, "I fitted in practice sessions in between my day job and had the use of the development kitchen at Harvest Fine Foods in Southampton to tweak the last touches to my menu". 

When asked about the competition, Gary said, “It was a real honour to be selected for the final of the British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year. The standard of chefs cooking on the day was exceptional. The conditions in the kitchens were not ideal - being a hot day made the kitchens excruciating hot! Nevertheless, I had fun in the kitchen, cooking the dishes I was happy with, apart from the heat didn’t help my ice cream!" 

"I would like to congratulate Kevin Buck, both personally and on behalf of Essential Cuisine, a culinary partner to the BCF on winning the BCF Chef of Year 2023."

"I would like to thank Howard Beasley, National Sales Manager and Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, Senior Business Development Chef from Essential Cuisine for their help and support in the run up to the final and on the day."

"Also a massive thank you to all the amazing support I received which enabled me to practice and compete; Henley Bridge Ingredients (Dave Allman), RAK Porcelain (Craig Martin), Harvest (Phil Clark) and Ian Gibbs, my long-term friend for helping to source my fish and shellfish for my starter. Without such great support, I would not been able to enter!"    

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