Zimmer, Executive Chef of The Lowry Hotel in Manchester, triumphed
at the grand final of the most prestigious competition in the chef
calendar, to take the coveted title of KNORR National Chef of the
Year 2006. Adam Bennett, Head Chef of Simpsons Restaurant
in Birmingham and Simon Hulstone, Head Chef of The Elephant Restaurant
in Torquay, achieved second and third place respectively. Eyck Zimmer
also scooped the prize for Best Main Course, with Best Starter awarded
to Craig Sandle, Sous Chef of The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, and
Best Dessert awarded to Robert Szewczyk, Head Chef of Cumberland
The KNORR National Chef of the Year competition was contested live
at the Restaurant Show, London Olympia, in a specially built competition
theatre. The Semi Finals took place over four heats on 18-19 September
when 40 competitors produced their qualifying menus under the watchful
eye of a live audience and the competition judges, to secure one
of the 10 places in the Grand Final. The Grand Final took place
on Wednesday 20 September and the finalists* were tasked with creating
a three-course meal** for four people from a mystery box of ingredients
provided by Food From Britain, in just three hours.
competitors demonstrated culinary skill, expertise, creativity and
determination under intense competition conditions, impressing both
the panel of judges, including Paul Gayler of The Lanesborough,
Andrew McLeish of Chapter One Restaurant and Lou Jones of the Culinary
Institute of America, and the audience. A panel of guest tasting
judges also joined the Grand Final to sample all the dishes created
by the finalists, including Cyrus Todiwala, Brendan ONeill,
Brian Turner CBE, Professor John Huber and Richard Corrigan. The
final decision of the judges was a nnounced and the prizes awarded
at a gala awards banquet, which took place on the evening of the
Grand Final at The Dorchester Hotel, London.
Winners, competitors, organisers, sponsors and guests celebrated
the conclusion of a most successful competition long into the night.
David Mulcahy, Vice President, Craft Guild of Chefs comments, We
have experienced a phenomenal three days of competition with each
and every competitor performing to an extremely impressive standard.
Our heartfelt congratulations go to Eyck Zimmer on achieving victory
in such a competitive grand final. Eyck Zimmer now joins the
exclusive group of previous winners of this most esteemed competition,
run by the Craft Guild of Chefs in partnership with KNORR, which
includes Gordon Ramsay, Roger Narbett, Kevin Viner, Mark Sargeant
and most recently Steve Love, who won the title in 2004.