National Chef of the Year finalist- George Blogg
It was a love for food and the sense of achievement you get from hard work that inspired The National Chef of the Year finalist, George Blogg to become the talented chef he is today. He’s currently working as head chef at the stunning Gravetye Manor but has also been fortunate enough to work at The Square with Phil Howard and Le Champignon Sauvage with former NCOTY winner, David Everitt-Matthias. Other stages across Europe and the UK over recent years have helped shape him as a chef, but he believes his own upbringing and a passion for eating has had just as much of an input into what he does now.
George feels that inspiration should come from “anything if you are open to it, inside or outside the industry”. He believes there’s inspiration in what you read, your experiences, colleagues or surroundings.
George prefers to be restricted by ingredients, the seasons and location, as this inspires him to be more inventive. He entered The National Chef of the Year simply to gain experience which would help him mentor and encourage other chefs into entering competitions. The NCOTY London semi-final was the first competition he had ever cooked in and the experience and self-improvement he gained from that one day alone has already made this whole competition worthwhile.
Many chefs wonder what winning the title would mean to them or feel like, but at the moment George is only concentrating on doing his best on the day, and not the potential outcome. He was surprised to hear his named announced at Le Cordon Bleu back in June, especially as he was revealed as the heat winner. It is a fantastic achievement and allows him to experience the exciting next stage of the competition. To prepare for the final he’s going to have the same plan of attack as he did for the semi-final. With every spare moment, you will find George cooking, tasting, thinking and improving his dishes.
The first people George called to share the exciting news was his wife and ten-month-old son, although he admits his son didn’t seem to care - the youth of today! After the semi-finals, he enjoyed a fantastic meal at Launceston Place cooked by Ben Murphy who was the 2012 Young National Chef of the Year winner. However, he would have gone either way, win or lose, to reflect on a great day.
The three words that George would use to describe his style of cooking are seasonal, regional and thoughtful.