Rajkumar Holuss, 1st Sous Chef at The Waterside Inn, Bray; James Sleep, Junior Sous Chef at White’s Club, London and Adam Thomason, Head Chef, Restaurant Associates at Deloitte, are the three UK finalists in this year’s Taittinger Prix Culinaire International competition. Announced this week by UK Presidential Judge, Michel Roux Jr, following consultation with his panel of 10 top chefs, the three finalists will go head to head in the UK final on 5th September at Roux at Parliament Square.
On entry, competitors were invited to submit a recipe of classic cuisine on a set theme chosen by the organising committee, which this year is poularde (large chicken). At the final on 5th September, they will prepare their winning entry along with a second dish based on a theme provided by Michel Roux Jr.
The winner of the UK competition will be chosen by the Judging panel and announced by Champagne Taittinger’s Marketing Director, Vitalie Taittinger, at an evening celebration after the cook off. All UK finalists will receive a Jeroboam of Champagne Taittinger and the UK winner will receive €2,400, a trophy and a place in the international final which will be held in Paris on 23rd November.
This year’s judging panel is made up of Simon Hulstone from The Elephant Restaurant, Torquay; John Williams from The Ritz London; Roux at Parliament Square’s Steve Groves; Rachel Humphrey from Le Gavroche; Romuald Feger from The Connaught; Andre Garrett from Cliveden; The Royal Chef Mark Flannagan; Claude Bosi from Hibiscus; Arnaud Bignon from The Greenhouse and The Rosewood’s Amandine Chaignot.
Comments Lynn Murray, UK Marketing Director, Hatch Mansfield – UK sole agents for Champagne Taittinger comments, “The standard of candidates in this year’s competition was exceptional, making it a tough job for Michel Roux Jr to shortlist the finalists. We are delighted to be able to announce the names of these three talented chefs as our finalists. The standard is going to be very high and we can’t wait to see how the competition pans out on 5th September and who will go forward to represent the UK in the international final.”
The competition, which was set up 49 years ago, is open to chefs between the ages of 24 and 39, with over five years’ experience. Often referred to as the ‘Everest of Gastronomy’, it demonstrates Champagne Taittinger’s commitment to the promotion of young, upcoming chefs. Seven countries will host national finals, including the UK final.