Lisburn chef Nicky Reid has won the All-Ireland Chef of the Year competition and the Best in Show accolade at Salon Culinaire 2017.
Executive chef for Sodexo at Almac, Craigavon, Nicky took home the gold medal at the annual culinary competition run by services company Sodexo Ireland for its 3,700 chef and non-chef staff in the Republic and Northern Ireland.
They were Dennis McCarroll who is based at the Ulster Independent Clinic and Adam Stewart, based at Allstate in Belfast.
Nicky, was also presented with a voucher from Unilever, the competition sponsor. He will now represent Ireland in the UK and Ireland Grand Final at Hotelympia in London in March 2018, where he will face the winning chefs from the England, Scotland and Wales Salons.
A delighted Nicky said: “I was shocked when I heard my name called, not only as the chef of the year winner but also for best in show. I wasn’t expecting it at all because the competition was very tough with high levels of skill and technique on display and I was up against two very experienced previous winners. It was my second time to compete in the competition, I learned a great deal from my first attempt last year and I resolved to use that knowledge in my favour in this year’s competition.
“I chose my menu based around what was seasonal and grown locally to me. We have some fantastic suppliers in Northern Ireland and showcasing their products means a lot to me as a chef. I am honoured and excited to be representing Ireland and I will be putting a great deal of time, effort and practice into preparing for the Grand Final in 2018,” Nicky continued.
According to the judges: “Nick proved himself to be creative and innovative. His starter dish was delicious and worthy of any top restaurant and it was followed by an elegant, beautifully cooked hake with the shellfish adding a real taste of the sea. His dessert of marinated pineapple concluded a well-balanced menu, making him a worthy recipient of the Chef of the Year title and Best in Show award.”