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Champagne Taittinger announces winning UK chef

The UK winner of the 56th Le Taittinger International Culinary Prize has been announced ahead of January’s grand final in Paris.

Having come runner-up in Champagne Taittinger’s culinary contest last year, Kamil Nowak, senior sous chef at the Michelin-starred The Dysart Petersham in Richmond, London, and previously of The Victory Services Club, La Trompette and Fera at Claridge’s, emerged as the best of the bunch of the recent UK edition of the competition. In the previous edition, he was pipped to the post by Paul Burgalieres, head chef of the three Michelin star l’Enclume in Cumbria.

Michel Roux Jr., chef patron of the (soon to shut) Le Gavroche and president of the UK competition, said: “It’s always brilliant to see someone continue to challenge themselves. Kamil came runner up last year with a truly excellent dish; this year, he has come back with even more experience and passion that shone through in his dish. I’m so looking forward to following Kamil on his journey to the global final in Paris. Le Taittinger is no easy feat and the talent we see coming through remains exceptionally high – long may we see these extraordinary chefs challenge themselves and continue to push the boundaries of fine dining through competitions like Le Taittinger.”

Though winning the national heat has meant that Nowak has received €2,400, he has the chance to secure a much greater prize at the competition in the French capital, where he will be facing off against the winning chefs from Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the US. The contestants are expected to devise and cook a dish utilising a pollock and two lobsters (the dish Nowak cooked to win the UK contest will be revealed after the international final). The winner of this contest will receive €20,000, as well as a trophy, while second place will win €5,000 and third €2,500.

Jean Pierre Redont, secretary general in charge of the organisation of Le Taittinger, said: “The Taittinger family are very passionate about supporting grassroots talent across all industries and arts but especially in gastronomy, which lives deep in their roots. It is an honour to see these Chefs take on our competition, known as the ‘Everest of Gastronomy’, and push themselves to achieve greatness. I cannot wait to see what this year’s final brings.”

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