Meet the National Chef of the Year semi-finalists: Kuba Winkowski
We are delighted to see last year’s finalist Kuba Winkowski back in to the National Chef of the Year competition and can’t wait to taste his dishes. It was good to catch up with him before he starts cooking on Tuesday to find out more about him and his cooking.
Tell us how you first heard about the competition and what attracted you to enter?
I have been watching the competition closely on the Craft Guild of Chef’s social media for past few years. A few of my friends took part in it as well, so I was building myself-up to take part.
Where were you when you first discovered you had made it into the National Chef of the Year semi-finals?
I was at work and was checking Twitter regularly to see if I was through to the semi-finals for the second year running.
How did you celebrate your achievement?
There wasn't any celebration, but I was glad to have another shot for the title.
How are you preparing for the next stage of the competition?
It is all about preparation and practice. It is very important to tune the dishes, try and test them. Following a few trial runs, I will be ready.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in your career so far?
Raymond Blanc and Gary Jones, as they are always going to be close to my 'cooking' heart.
Which part of the menu are you most looking forward to serving up and what was your inspiration for this dish?
I am really looking forward to all my menu because is very personal to me. However, my starter especially is a take on my childhood June flavour memory with broad beans and buckwheat. We used to eat bucket loads, when in it was in season.
How will you feel if your name is called out as a finalist?
I am lucky enough to know this feeling already and it is an amazing one. Now there is even more pressure, I think, and all the other competitors are very strong once again.
Tell us something that followers of the competition may not already know about you.
I love my job!