Heston Blumenthal, known for his innovative gastronomy at the Fat Duck, was named U.K. Chef of the Decade in the Observer Food Monthly Awards.
Angela Hartnett created canapes representing the signature dishes of each of the 10 nominees for the accolade, including Blumenthal’s Snail Porridge and Jamie Oliver’s Fish Pie.
“I am extremely proud of my team and the continuous development and energy they bring to our industry,” he said in an e-mailed release. “It’s been quite an incredible decade and I can’t wait for the next 10 years.”
L’Enclume was named best restaurant, and Tonkotsu won for cheap eats in the awards, presented last night at a party at the Freemasons’ Hall. Hawksmoor won for best place to drink; Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s “Jerusalem” for best book.
The Fat Duck team created edible trophies layered with dark and white chocolate, filled with a passion-fruit caramel. The event was attended by chefs, restaurateurs and food writers. The Observer Food Monthly Awards were founded in 2003.
The judging panel this year included chefs Sat Bains, Angela Hartnett, Tom Kerridge, Tom Kitchin, Bruno Loubet, Nathan Outlaw, Simon Rogan and Mitch Tonks, as well as food writers such as Nigel Slater and the restaurateur Russell Norman.
Best restaurant (over £20 per head): L’Enclume, Cumbria Best cheap eats (under £15 per head): Tonkotsu, London Best Sunday lunch: Eagle & Child, Ramsbottom, Lancashire Best new cookbook, “Jerusalem” Best ethical restaurant: Poco, Bristol Best independent retailer: Keelham Farm Shop, Yorkshire Best place to drink: Hawksmoor, London Best food blog: The Skint Foodie http://www.theskintfoodie.com/ Chef of the Decade: Heston Blumenthal Best producer: Burt’s Blue Cheese Best newcomer in food and drink: Honey & Co Outstanding contribution: Le Champignon Sauvage Young Chef of the Year (under 30): Georgina Dent Best local farmer: Bucksum Salad Best food photography: Grandma’s Birthday by Colleen Branch
(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)
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