The finalists for National Chef of the year 2021 have been announced ahead of the final stage of the competition, which will be held next month.

Although some adaptations have taken place due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the early stages of the competition, contestants will head to the oven at Le Cordon Bleu, London, on 7 September. The jury of the National Chef of the Year 2021 which is the winner will be announced on September 30, will be Paul Ainsworth, chef and owner of the Paul Ainsworth Collection; Clare Symth, chef and owner of Core; Niall Keating, Executive Chef of Whatley Manor; and Claude Bosi of Bibendum restaurant. Chair of judges Paul Ainsworth said: “I’m confident we have an amazing line-up of finalists from some incredible establishments and businesses. I can’t wait to taste the dishes in a few weeks’ time, as ultimately that’s what this competition is all about.”

The organiser of the competition, David Mulcahy, added: “While we have had to tweak how the final is run, many things remain the same. We have 10 brilliant chefs cooking for the best judges in the industry and what a special winner they are going to find. I really hope that on the 30 September, chefs in kitchens across the UK tune in to support the competitors and watch the final and the live announcement. There has never been a more important time for the industry to come together in this way and show everyone how much talent our culinary scene has to offer.”

The finalists:

  1. Fraser Bruce, head chef, Fraser Bruce @ the Fish Shed, St Ives
  2. Nathan Cornwell, head chef, the Barn at Moor Hall, Ormskirk
  3. Ben Drake, senior sous chef, the Elephant by Simon Hulstone, Torquay
  4. Derek Johnstone, head chef, Borthwick Castle, East Lothian
  5. Sarah-Jasmina Moussabih, head chef, Finnish Embassy, London
  6. April Lily Partridge, chef, the Ledbury, London
  7. Marcin Pomierny, head chef, the Maids Head hotel, Norwich
  8. Nick Smith, head chef, Vacherin /Ashurst, London
  9. Dominic South, head chef, Corinthia hotel, London
  10. Thomas Swaby, senior sous chef, Roux at Parliament Square, London


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