Online restaurant reservation site Bookatable by Michelin has today announced Perry Torrance (20 years old) and Jack Barwick (23 years old) as joint winners of UK Young Chef of the Year 2017. Perry, who works at Smiths of Smithfield, and Jack of Paradise Garage, sister restaurant to The Dairy, triumphed in the inaugural year of what is fast becoming one the UK’s most exciting and relevant annual and nationwide culinary competitions.
The winners triumphed during 10 nights of finalist ‘Pop Ups’ at M Victoria St, during The M & Bookatable Young Chef Restaurant Take Overs in the past fortnight, beating strong challenges from the 10 finalists, who came from local and Michelin starred restaurants from across the UK including The Five Fields and Les 110 de Taillevent.
Perry and Jack have each won a five-night ‘take-over’ at M Victoria St from 22nd August – 2nd September (where they will cook their four-course signature menus); plus a trip to Reims, France, courtesy of Champagne Pommery. Going forward, they will both enjoy the title ‘M & Bookatable Young Chef of the Year 2017’.
Impressing judges with their culinary expertise, Perry and Jack succeeded over 10 other finalists who were selected from 50 high calibre, up-and-coming UK based chefs to showcase their menus and culinary skills to a panel of judges. The 10 young chef finalists were scored on the same criteria to form 33% of each finalist’s score by a judging panel which included Daniel Ayton (President of Disciples of Escoffier), Richard Bainbridge (Chef), Sarah Durdin Robertson (Optomen TV), Steve Dineen (City AM), Tom Kemble (Bonhams) and M Restaurants Executive Chef, Michael Reid, who mentored the 10 finalists throughout the competition. The remaining 67% score was awarded by paying diners each evening; giving diners the opportunity to be part of the judging process, where they helped to choose the winner of The M & Bookatable Young Chef of the Year 2017. Both Jack and Perry scored 674 points out of a maximum 750 to tie the competition.
The annual competition which launched in May 2017 by M Restaurant and Bookatable, was the brainchild of Chef Michael Reid and aims to nurture the next generation of young chefs and encourage young talent working in the UK restaurant industry during a post Brexit era of critical staff shortages. Chefs under the age of 29 were invited to submit menus that reflect their skill, personality and personal style of cooking, giving them the opportunity to host their own pop-up restaurant.
Michael Reid says “The competition was inspiring from start to finish! We have incredible talent in the UK’s kitchens and with Bookatable and Pommery, we were able to offer a fantastic experience to both encourage and nurture young chefs. I can’t wait for Perry and Jack to now rock it in the two-week take over!”
The winners will ‘Takeover’ the M RAW 50 Cover restaurant at M Victoria St for five nights each, cooking their own four-course menus. The menus are priced at £40 for four courses and a glass of Pommery Champagne.