Leisure Marketing

Oct 4, 2012

UK VISIONARY CHEF OF THE YEAR 2012

Rohan Nevins last year’s candidate chef winner, Chef Mentor Aiden ByrneUK VISIONARY CHEF OF THE YEAR 2012
~ World class standards being set at Northampton College

Nine of the UK’s most talented and celebrated chefs will engage in a gastronomic competition in November that is both unique and innovative within the hospitality industry awards calendar.


Throughout 2012 nine top chefs have been staging inspirational mentoring and training days around the UK, “X Factor” style, to each find a culinary unknown worthy of mentoring to reach world class standards of culinary skill, passion and style. The search has stretched from London to Glasgow and included almost 150 chefs throughout the UK who have strived to pair up with a celebrity mentor.


The final on the 29th of November is not only a celebration of skill and achievement but is also a competition within which all of the diners present are also judges. It will be the diners on the night who will crown this year’s Visionary Chef of the Year 2012, a title won in 2011 by Chef mentored by Aiden Byrne, Rohan Nevins, pictured.


The competition is inspired by visionarydining.com in aid of Hospitality Action, the Hospitality Industry’s benevolent fund. 
The winners from each of the regional heats will now accompany their mentor in the Visionary Chef of the Year Dinner on the 29th November 2012. The venue for this glamorous dinner will be the stunning new Northampton College, a venue that links with the visionary feature of the event.


Mike Coppock, Director of Hospitality at Northampton College is not only relishing working with 9 world class chefs for a day, but agrees that serving a 9 course tasting menu which includes 1350 dishes over a six hour period is not without significant challenge. ‘’Allowing our students to work alongside industry greats gives us all a real buzz. Winning the tender to host this event is a great honour that sits alongside the ambitions that we as a college set ourselves.’


The winning chef on the night will be judged not only by the diners present, but also by a world class judging panel.  (Details – below). Head of Judges Peter Birnie, Former Chief Restaurant Inspector at the AA explains what his team will be looking for on the night. ‘’The winner on the night will demonstrate a natural visionary culinary philosophy that showcases clear natural vibrant flavours, flawless textures and high levels of intuitive skill. Ultimately, the winning dish will provide a WOW factor and be memorable.’


Managing Director of visionarydining.com, Gordon Cartwright, is keen to point out the novelty of this competition. ‘Whilst this final provides an exciting climax to this year’s programme, the mentoring of unknown chefs throughout the year by celebrity chefs has been both inspirational and motivating. The sharing of skills means that standards up and down the country will benefit.’


The UK National Mentors
Aiden Byrne ~ 3 AA Rosettes ~ The Church Green, Lymm, Cheshire
Kenny Atkinson ~ 3 AA Rosettes ~ Rockliffe Hall, Darlington, County Durham
Andre Garret ~ 3 AA Rosettes ~ Galvin at Windows, London
Tom Aikens ~ 5 A Rosettes ~ Restaurant Tom Aikens, London
Adam Simmonds ~ 1 Michelin Star ~ Danesfield House, Marlow
Martin Wishart ~ 1 Michelin Star ~ Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh
Mark Poynton ~ 3 AA Rosettes ~ Alimentum Restaurant, Cambridge
Ben Spalding ~ 3 AA Rosettes ~ Roganic. London
Paul Foster ~ 3 AA Rosettes Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk


4: The UK National Competitors
Andrew Postlethwaite, Best Western Castle Green Hotel, Kendal
Braden Charlesworth Head Chef , Flemmings, London
Martin Thliveros Head Chef Blythswood Sq, Glasgow
Ross McGibbon Sous Chef  Gilpin Lodge, Windermere
Danny Mathews Jnr Sous Chef  Blythswood Sq, Glasgow
Andrew Postlethwaite Chef de Partie Castle Green Hotel, Kendal
Liam Davies Chef de Partie Hogarth’s, Solihull
Heats 7, 8 and 9 yet to be announced.


5: The Judges
Peter Birnie. Former Chief  Restaurant Inspector at the AA. Vicky Endersen Previous Michelin-star Pastry Chef. Now works as cutting edge development chef and flavour specialist at MSK.

About www.visionarydining.com

What began in 2010 as a one stop shop to satisfy all aspects of the international chefs career has blossomed into a global hospitality consultancy business that now wraps up culinary training at every level, practically free recruitment for employers, visionary advice on hotel operations, key supplier information in the UK, national and international dining events, a grading initiative for Hotel Schools,
and a new restaurant inspection system that offers a solution to the market. If you have vision and want to be a stake holder in the future. visionarydining.com was founded by Gordon Cartwright to recognise, celebrate and develop excellence within the UK Hospitality Industry.

Gordon’s early career stands out for his achievements as a Chef. After training in London with the Roux Brothers he went on to become one of the Head Chefs at Sharrow Bay where he achieved a Michelin Star at 24. At the Snooty Fox  he was nominated for a Catey (Best Menu), and won a  Silver Medal in the European Championships. At this time he became the youngest full member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain and was described by the Daily Telegraph as one of ‘Britain’s Top Chefs’. Acceptance into the Association Culinaire Francais also provided a highlight.

After hanging up his ‘whites’ in 1996 at the age of 27 Gordon went on to develop a distinguished career within AA Hotel Services as a Hotel Inspector. After 13 years Gordon moved on from the AA having reached the position of Inspection Manager Key Accounts, the duties for which included overseeing national awards and rationalising the criteria for the portfolio of inspected AA Guides. Much of
the heritage behind visionarydining.com links directly to over 3000 restaurant inspections Gordon undertook in his role. In addition, during the last 4 years of his employment Gordon pioneered the AA Rosette Academy and the AA Consultancy Dashboard, which at the time were ground breaking initiative’s within the industry. Gordon was recognised for his entrepreneurial efforts with a nomination
for AA Employee of the Year in 2007, a nomination sourced from the entire AA Global Business.

Today, Gordon and his team continue to network tirelessly within the industry to promote excellence, deliver world class training, and to bridge the link between hospitality education and world class chefs. His exposure as a judge both in the Cateys and Catersearch Web Awards is an indicator of Gordon’s role within hospitality, as is his role of Enterprise Governor at the Lakes Hotel School. Although Gordon spends most of his professional life travelling, at weekends he returns to the Lakes where he lives with his wife and daughter.

About Hospitality Action

For over 170 years Hospitality Action, the Hospitality Industry Benevolent Organisation, has offered vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis.

They support people...

1.    Suffering from life altering illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease, cancer and Multiple Sclerosis
2.    With sick and disabled children
3.    Of all ages with a large proportion of those we assist under the age of 60

All of the money we raise goes towards…

1.    Grants for essential items including food, clothing and central heating
2.    Supporting our often isolated and lonely retired hospitality workers
3.    Holding seminars via The Ark Foundation to tackle the excessive effects of drugs and alcohol for Industry students and employees
4.    Whether you attend our annual ball, donate a prize or host a Family Member lunch your actions help those in real need across our
5.    industry.

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