5 March 2019

The inaugural Steelite UK Rising Star Hotel Chef Competition has been won by Isaac Griffin, the talented Chef de Partie at Hotel Indigo Manchester’s Mamucium restaurant, after a thrilling live final.

Created to recognise up-and-coming hotel chefs aged 18-30 years old, the contest attracted more than 60 entries, with each initially submitting an image and recipe of their star dish; the field was then whittled down to just four contenders ahead of the crunch showdown at Avenue Cookery School in London. On the day, the finalists had 2.5 hours to produce four identical covers of a main course from a selection of mystery ingredients, paying particular attention to flavour and presentation.

Griffin’s winning dish featured a delicious pan-fried chicken breast with crispy chicken wing, accompanied by a creamy pancetta-and-white-kidney-bean ragù, potato pearls and thyme-glazed carrots, served on a Steelite Willow Deep-Rimmed Bowl. As well as being crowned Steelite UK’s Rising Star Hotel Chef 2019, Griffin won a three-night culinary experience for two to New York City – including a trip to the StarChefs International Chefs Congress – and £2,500 of Steelite product for his establishment.

“I’m so pleased to have won the competition,” said Griffin. “The process can be nerve-wracking, but I kept composed to create a dish that I was happy with. I’ve never been to America before so I’m really looking forward to the trip, it’ll be a great experience.”

Alongside Griffin, the other competitors were Marv Umali (Cliveden Dining Room), Jean Christian Gras (Galvin at Windows) and Daniel Radley (Hrishi). In appreciation of their efforts, each finalist was awarded a voucher for a six-piece Steelite dinner set of their choice. The judging panel comprised chefs Simon Hulstone and Asma Khan; Antonio Vigorito, Vice Chairman of the F&B Managers Association of London; and Richard Frost, Assistant Editor of Supper.

“The quantity and quality of entries we received was high and for our finalists to have made it through was no easy task, they should be very proud of themselves,” said Kim Matienzo, Vice President of Marketing at Steelite. “I’m delighted to have seen the chefs out of their comfort zone and getting creative with their dishes. It has definitely set the bar for the next run, which we look forward to launching soon.”

Words: Richard Frost
Magazine: Supper 14