Adam Bennett, head chef at Simpson's Edgbaston and the UK's Bocuse d'Or candidate, has secured a place in the World Final of the Bocuse d'Or by coming 6th in the Bocuse d'Or Europe in Brussels and winning the best meat prize. 20 teams from all over Europe competed but only the top 12 were awarded a place in the world final.
Adam was supported by his commis chef, Kristian Curtis also from Simpsons, and mentored by coach, Nick Vadis, UK executive chef of Compass Group.
Brian Turner CBE, UK Bocuse d'Or judge and President of the Academy of Culinary Arts, said. “It's a fantastic result for Adam who has never competed in anything like this before. It's been an incredible journey just for him to to get here and I know that UK supporters will be even more behind him as we approach the finals in Lyon."
An elated Adam Bennett said soon after the announcements: “Our goal was to get into the top 12 and I'm absolutely delighted with the result. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far, so I can't wait to find out what Lyon is like!"
He then added, “I'd like to pass on my thanks to the supporters who've helped me through the last three months and give a special mention to those who came out to Brussels. The new kitchen is a fantastic space to practise and I look forward to taking on the next challenge."
Adam's fish platter consisted of; Ballotine of Dover Sole, mousseline of shrimp and Cornish lobster, salpicon of shellfish, seaweed butter, royale of wild garlic and parsley root saffron potatoes with creamed leeks, timbale of scallops and crab with courgette flower and red pepper.
His prize winning meat platter: Roulade of free range chicken with truffle, mushroom and tarragon, casserole of chicken leg, cocks combs, veal sweetbreads, morels and pearl barley, asparagus royale, with celeriac, boudin of foie gras, jelly of Maury, leek terrine, smoked quail egg.
Charles Banks, Director & Co Founder of thefoodpeople had the pleasure of watching Adam and here's what Charles thought of Adam's entry through a 'food trends lens'.
“I thought Adam's approach was a unique one. He opted to use classic preparations such as ballotines, mousses, jellies and casseroles but fused these with ingredients, techniques and a presentation style that reflects modern culinary trends.“Trends are brought to life through both
the meat and fish platters. Adam brings UK local sourcing to life through use of Dover sole and Cornish lobster in the fish dish. “Seaweeds are something we are seeing more of and Adam uses it in his seaweed butter to accompany his salpicon of shellfish. Adam's use of parsley root and cocks combs also reflects a move to maximising ingredients and carcass utilisation. “Adam also used flowers as ingredients and garnishing in both dishes. Fresh flowers are very much en vogue, both as a traditional renaissance and also the “natural nature" influence from Scandinavia. “Finally, Adam used a smoked quail egg as garnish on his meat platter. Apart from his unique presentation, the use of smoke as a flavour is popular among chefs, which was further brought to life by the use of smoke in a number of other Bocuse d'Or entries. “Adam's platter presentation had soft sweeping lines connecting the elements of the dish and a use of light, bright contrasting colours, all of which were simple and uncomplicated and very pleasing to the eye. In summary, a fusion of cutting-edge and classical elements – something that is not easy to do well."
For more information visit www.bocusedoruk.co.uk