Workplace catering specialist Catermasters has named Tim Bygrave as its Chef of the Year following a tense cook-off in London last week.
Bygrave saw off competition from Sam Morgan, David Naylor and Gary Fish to take the title at the final held at Brakes' Food Innovation Centre in Covent Garden.
Each chef had 90 minutes to cook a two-course fine dining meal using the contents of a mystery ingredients box. Bygraves served a winning menu of pan-seared scallops with butternut squash purée, pancetta, caramelised heritage beetroot and girolles, followed by a chocolate cylinder with salted caramel, caramelised pear, blackberry and toasted pistachio.
Michelin-starred chef Luke Tipping from Simpsons in Edgbaston was a judge alongside Brakes' head of development chefs team Mark Irish and Catermasters director Richard Moody.
"All of the chefs cooked and worked very well in a tense situation," said Tipping. "I hope today's competition goes some way towards dispelling some of the myths that surround the workplace catering industry.
"A competition like this highlights the fantastic skills that some of the chefs in the workplace industry have and that the standard of food they produce is fantastic."
Bygraves, who is chef manager at Catermasters' University of Cambridge, Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute site, said: "I'm pretty surprised to win. Things could have gone a little bit better in the kitchen but I guess my decision to keep things simple and cook within the season ticked some boxes with the judges."
Richard Moody added: "We've seen an outstanding standard of cooking today and I think that shows just have much quality we have at Catermasters. We are very proud of our company motto ‘food is everything' and I think that shone through during this competition."
The competition was supported by Brakes Group, Aubrey Allen, M&J Seafood, Simpsons Restaurant, Wild Harvest, Chef's Connection, Caterers Linen and Jacksons.