Meet the National Chef of the Year semi-finalists: Sarah Moussabih

Sarah Moussabih

Sarah Moussabih is the owner of Nordic Catering Ltd and is competing in her third National Chef (NCOTY) of the Year semi-final on Tuesday. She is thrilled to be back in the competition having enjoyed all her previous attempts. Will she go one further and make her first NCOTY final?  All will be revealed very soon.

Where were you when you first discovered you had made it into the National Chef of the Year semi-finals? 

This year, I was at home working at my laptop and I was constantly checking social media for the semi-finalists updates!

How did you celebrate your achievement?

I called home to my family in Finland and shared a celebratory bottle of wine with my partner.

How are you preparing for the next stage of the competition?

I have spent my time practicing my menu with my assistant at every opportunity. Staying relaxed, calm and doing what I need to do has also been my main focus.

Who has been your biggest inspiration in your career so far?

My single largest inspiration is my former boss and friend Pia Olanterä, a restauranteur in Helsinki. She is a great example of a strong, talented woman realising her dream of owning and running successful restaurants.

Which part of the menu are you most looking forward to serving up and what was your inspiration for this dish?

I am most excited about my starter as I believe it is my strongest dish in the competition yet. It is the unique combination of elements and it’s bright and colourful presentation that I love most. After taking the instructions from the brief onboard, I wanted to maintain my policy of working with the freshest, local produce and became inspired by the wealth of ingredients available locally.

I spoke to local producers and suppliers about ingredients available to me in South Wales and used their feedback to produce my list of ingredients. I love working closely with the small business in Cardiff because of the overwhelming sense of community and family.

How will you feel if your name is called out as a finalist?

Since this is my third year of competing and having been unsuccessful in reaching the finals thus far, becoming a finalist would be nothing short of overwhelming. It’s something that has eluded me but I believe I am absolutely capable of, despite the abundance of talent competing alongside me.

Tell us something that followers of the competition may not already know about you.

I started my own catering business focusing and specialising in Nordic Cuisine last year and have had my first successful year. This will be my first year competing under my own company name and I was delighted to see my company amongst the list of prestigious establishments who have chefs competing this year.

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