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  • Katherine Alano

Liverpool hosts National Chef of the Year top three chefs

The top three from the 2023 National Chef of the Year competition went to Liverpool to explore the city’s gastronomic delights.

Organised by Essential Cuisine, part of the Solina Group and Lumina, Alex Angelogiannis, Cleverson Cordeiro and Matthew Smith travelled to the city to discover the best of Liverpool's food scene while getting opportunities for learning, networking, and of course, indulging in exquisite cuisine.  

The journey began with a special lunch at Barnacle Kitchen set within Duke Street Market, curated by chef Paul Askew, a culinary maestro celebrated for his innovative approach to British cuisine. Their meal included fish cod cheek pakoras, Jerusalem artichoke cheesy chips, and Merguez sausage in honey and chives, and slow-cooked Middle Eastern spiced Lumina Lamb, accompanied by vibrant salads and freshly baked flatbreads.

The chefs were then treated to a culinary masterclass, gaining insights into Askew’s creative process, as well as learning more about ingredients from headline sponsors, Lumina and Essential Cuisine, followed up a special six-course tasting menu in the private Moriatry Room at The Art School.

The following morning the team visited nearby farm, Wirral Watercress, where Peter Jones, a third generation market gardener grows and supplies wild rocket, oyster leaf, wild garlic, edible flowers and an array of other speciality crops.

After the tour, the team enjoyed a foraged breakfast consisting of fresh bread, bacon, black pudding, asparagus, and watercress.

It was an opportunity for the chefs to gain a deeper appreciation for the origins of their ingredients and the importance of sustainability in modern gastronomy.  

The day continued with lunch at at Salt House Bacaro, known for its contemporary take on Italian cuisine, before the grand finale of the trip – a Gin Lab experience at the renowned Liverpool Gin Distillery.

The winners then unleashed their creativity and crafted their own bespoke gin creations.

Essential Cuisine and Lumina extend heartfelt congratulations to the top three finalists of the National Chef of the Year competition.

National Sales Manager at Essential Cuisine, Howard Beasley said: “Your dedication, talent, and culinary prowess have truly set you apart, and we eagerly anticipate the culinary delights you will continue to bring to the world. A special thank you to aChef Paul Askew and his team for orchestrating such an incredible culinary experience. Your passion for food, commitment to excellence, and generous spirit have left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of partaking in this unforgettable trip.”


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