Chefs from Simpsons restaurant in Birmingham have claimed a large slice of the honours at one of the culinary industry’s top awards.
Three out of a total of seven British Culinary Federation Awards went to staff at the Michelin-starred Edgbaston restaurant.
Adam Bennett, head chef at Simpsons and Kristian Curtis, chef de partie, were the worthy recipients.
Mr Bennett was presented with both the Chairman’s Award and the Aubrey Allen Award in recognition of his performance in the Bocuse d’Or in January.
As UK candidate there, he secured the best result ever for Team UK, winning the best meat prize and placing fourth - just six points off a place on the podium.
Mr Curtis collected the Johnnie Borra award for the most outstanding chef under 25. His assistance in the Bocuse d’Or led him to win the Best Commis prize - the first time that this has been awarded to a UK competitor.
The Bocuse d’Or is the world’s biggest culinary competition. Founded in 1987 by acclaimed chef, Paul Bocuse. 24 countries participate in the final which takes place every second year in Lyon.
Each chef must compete in front of thousands of supporters and has to produce an elaborately presented fish plate and meat platter.
A delighted Mr Bennett said: “The Bocuse d’Or was an amazing experience, both challenging and rewarding. It’s fantastic for our efforts to be recognised by The British Culinary Federation with not just one but three awards.”
British Culinary Federation chairman Jim Eaves said: “The awards are in recognition for the hard work that Adam and Kristian put in prior to and during the competition. They are also recognised for attaining the best ever result for a UK team in this prestigious world class event.”
A gourmet feast for the 140 guests at the awards ceremony at the St John’s Hotel in Solihull was prepared by young chefs from the Principal Hayley Chef Academy.
St John’s is part of the Principal Hayley group and the awards catering operation was overseen by group executive chef Bruce McDowell.
Welcoming the contribution the academy made, Mr Eaves added: “It is great to see young chefs getting such a good training within the industry. Working on such a prestigious event will give the young chefs confidence in cooking for a difficult audience.”