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Meet your Heat 3 NCOTY semi-finalists

We’re all set for some exciting semi-finals of National Chef of the Year on Tuesday, 20th June, 2017. There’s no doubt that all heats are going to be closely fought and we’ve been talking to some of the chefs in Heat 3 to find out more about how they are feeling ahead of the day.

The full list of chefs taking part in this heat are:

  • Jack O'Donovan
  • Ollie Hay
  • Glenn Evans
  • Karl O`Dell
  • Jamie Coleman
  • Robert Taylor
  • Nathan Eades
  • Cormac Mc Creary
  • Richard Davies
  • James Cousins

Cormac Mc Creary

You can follow Cormac on Twitter @Cormac2002

“It was a no-brainer entering National Chef of the Year. The best chefs in the industry enter, and I not only wanted to test myself against them, but learn and gain inspiration from them too. The brief this year was exactly the sort of thing that excites me about being a chef. Classic ingredients with a modern twist, which can be open to your interpretation. Just take the duck and cherry pairing for example, a classic pairing with both European and Asian heritage, but still complex and versatile for modern palates.

I am extremely honoured to be competing against these amazing chefs -  so of course I gave myself a pat on the back. But then it was straight into the kitchen to practice, practice, practice so I can do the best I can on the big day. I'm looking forward to the semi-finals because I thrive on working out of my comfort zone, being under pressure, and making great food alongside people who share my passion. I feel that's when I produce my best work and I can't wait to demonstrate this to the judges. Winning National Chef of the Year would be a dream come true. To be recognised as someone of the same calibre of previous winners would make all the years of hard work, early starts, late nights, patience, triumphs, and failures all worth it.”

Richard Davies

Keep up-to-date with the news from Richard @davies_chef

“I decided to enter the NCOTY competition to challenge and test myself against the best chefs in the country. The brief this year is very challenging due to the time limit, it's really going to test the skills and organisation of the chefs

When I found out I was in the semi-finals I felt very excited and very nervous but I’m now looking forward to cooking for some of the best and most respected chefs in the industry. If I was to win it really would be the highlight of my career. To be placed alongside some of the greats would make me immensely proud.”

Nathan Eades

You can follow Nathan on Twitter using @nathaneades

“It was probably last year when I decided to enter this National Chef of the Year competition after seeing the deadline and realising I couldn’t commit to it last year due to family commitments. The brief this year made you, as a chef, think outside the box a little. A vegetarian starter isn’t always a strength of a chef, duck with cherries is always a great combination and the classic tart is open to interpretation. All in all, I felt it was a challenging brief albeit one that I have relished undertaking.

When I found out I was in the semi-finals for a split-second I was over the moon, then the realisation of the hard work really begun. I am looking forward to cooking alongside some of the industries’ finest chefs and this has inspired me to step my game up and make sure I do myself, Simpsons and Birmingham proud. I’m not really thinking that about winning if I am honest. Obviously, I would never have entered if I didn’t think I can win the competition, but for me, its head’s down and crack on with making sure I get through the semi-final stage.”

Glenn Evans

You can follow Glenn on Twitter using @Glenn_chef.

“As head of food for a casual dining restaurant brand I don't have the chance to dabble in the fine dining sector so taking part in competitions like NCOTY gives me purpose to explore new ingredients and techniques I wouldn't normally be able to do in my day to day role. I absolutely loved this year’s brief. I like experimenting with seasonal fresh produce and showcasing various techniques using the same element and I can do this in every course.

I was very proud and happy to be on the list with some very brilliant chefs from some very distinguished restaurants. I believe it's the most distinguished and recognised chef competition that showcases the talents within our industry and to be on the same list as some of those previous winners would mean everything to me.”

James Cousins

You can follow James on Twitter using @chef_cousins and Instagram with @el_cheffy.

“I entered NCOTY as I wanted to show that you don't have to be a Michelin trained chef to be the best chef. Plus, I love a challenge, the idea of an underdog like me taking on a group of very skilled individuals is a great bonus, especially when I get to the final.

I thought it was a great brief and a great choice to push chefs and make people think out of their normal comfort zones. I am so proud to be part of the semi-finals and very excited to show people what I can achieve if given the chance. If I am honest I am already looking forward to the final. I love the idea of a mystery box as it will sort the men from the boys when it comes to real cooking. Winning would be an amazing achievement and will hopefully help push my career in the right direction, plus who doesn't like a winner! It will also prove to a few people I'm not too bad of a chef.”

You can follow all the action from the National Chef of the Year competition on Tuesday by following #NCOTY and @Craft_Guild.

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