Birmingham regional final in pictures
The 2020/2021 Regional Finals took place on 9th September 2021 after an 18-month delay due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The chefs were battling it out for six places at the National Final, at Westminster Kingsway College on 25th October 2021.
The Birmingham regional final at University College Birmingham saw six chefs competing; they were Jonnie Ferguson from The Raby Hunt in County Durham; Curtis Tonge from The Forge in Chester; Jac Webster from The Angel at Hetton; Oliver Marlow from Aulis in London; Scott Braithwaite from L’Enclume; and Joshua Fulcher from Restaurant 22 in Cambridge.
The judges were Alain Roux, Simon Hulstone (Roux Scholar 2003), Sat Bains (Roux Scholar 1999) and Angela Hartnett.
Two of the Birmingham finalists were chosen to go through to the National Final: Curtis Tonge and Jonnie Ferguson.
Photos by Anna Lythgoe
The Regional Finalists
Their challenge was to cook the recipe they submitted with their application, which uses one whole fresh gutted hake, weighing anywhere between 1.6kg – 1.8kg and 600g of live whole grooved carpet shell / palourde clams (ruditapes decussatus). They had to be plated together with two simple or composed garnishes/accompaniments. One of these had to include leeks and the other was a garnish/accompaniment of the applicant’s choice. One of these could be served separately if preferred and a sauce had to accompany the dish. The regional finalists had 2½ hrs to cook their dish, along with a dessert from a mystery box of ingredients given to them on the day. The judges were looking for recipes and methods, which demonstrate the best balance of creativity, taste, style and practicality in the finished dish.
The 2021 mystery box
The brief was to prepare a dessert for four people using the ingredients supplied.
One ingredient could be omitted but at least 50% of the following ingredients had to be used:
30ml Grand Marnier liqueur
400ml whole milk
150g caster sugar
200g plain flour
100g unsalted butter
4 Mandarin oranges
4 medium-sized Granny Smith apples
80 g mixed orange and lemon candied peel