Master Of Culinary Arts 2017 Finalists Revealed

Publish Date: December 13, 2017 Posted By: raca

The UK’s highest culinary honour, only presented every four years, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts has today announced the Finalists for its 2017 Master of Culinary Arts. Now in its 30th year, the awards celebrate those who display the mastery of the complex and specialised knowledge and skills in culinary arts. Amongst those reaching the final stages are leading chefs, pastry chefs and restaurant managers from some of the best culinary establishments in the UK. Winners of the MCA will be announced at a Gala Presentation Dinner on the 5th October at Claridge’s, London.

The award of Master of Culinary Arts (MCA) is conferred on those who have displayed mastery of the complex and specialised knowledge and skills in culinary arts which are required to be a first class chef, pastry chef, or for restaurant management and service. The holder of the MCA is able to prove advanced technical skill and professional ability; accept accountability for their decision-making; contribute to supervision and management; demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the principles of sustainability and the viability of our food sources throughout the scope of the food chain; demonstrate leadership and support the development of others; and act in the best interests of the culinary arts profession.

The Finalists are:


  • Adam Bennett, Chef Director, The Cross at Kenilworth
  • Chris Hill, Premier Sous Chef, The Ritz Hotel
  • Adam Smith, Executive Chef, Coworth Park
  • Adam Thomason, Head Chef, Deloitte, Restaurant Associates
  • Anthony Wright, Senior Chef Lecturer, University College Birmingham


  • Alistair Birt, Head Pastry Chef, Harrods
  • Nicolas Bouhelier, Head Pastry Chef, Lainston House Hotel
  • Nicholas Patterson, Teaching Chef, Le Cordon Bleu
  • Julie Sharp, Pastry Chef Technical Adviser, Barry Callebaut UK
  • Ross Sneddon, Executive Pastry Chef, The Balmoral Hotel


  • Lukas Andr, Restaurant Manager, Sexy Fish, Caprice Holdings
  • Alessandro Fasoli, General Manager, The Woodspeen Restaurant and Cookery School
  • Giovanni Ferlito, Head of Wine and Beverage, The Ritz London
  • Devid Isabella, Restaurant Manager, Wentworth Golf Club
  • Karim Le Cloarec, General Manager, Searcys at The Gherkin
  • Pierre Rizet-Mosser, Food & Beverage Manager, The Montagu Arms Hotel

The Finals will take place on Saturday 16th July at The Taste Lab, Classic Fine Foods for Pastry Chefs; Saturday 23rd September at University College Birmingham for Chefs; and Saturday 30th September at Le Gavroche for Restaurant Management & Service.


The MCA 2017 is sponsored by Ritter Courivaud; ACT Clean; Aubrey Allen; Berkmann Wine Cellars; Laurent-Perrier Champagne; L’Unico Cafe Musetti; Speyside Glenlivet; Wedgwood; and Winterhalter.


  • Saturday 16th September Pastry Chefs Final, The Taste Lab, Classic Fine Foods
  • Saturday 23rd September Chefs Final, University College Birmingham
  • Saturday 30th September Restaurant Management & Service Final, Le Gavroche
  • Thursday 5th October Gala Presentation Dinner, Claridge’s


Inaugurated in 1987, the Master of Culinary Arts (MCA) is held every four years and is seen to be the ultimate accolade, awarded in recognition of outstanding craftsmanship, for Chefs, Pastry Chefs and Restaurant Managers in the UK. Inspired by Michel Bourdin, then Chef de Cuisine at The Connaught and supported by Albert and Michel Roux OBEs the MCA was based on the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) and was originally known as the Meilleur Ouvrier de Grande Bretagne.

The MCA represents the very best in craftsmanship in cooking, pastry and service. It is a priority in the Royal Academy’s continuing efforts to improve the standards of food, cooking and service while, at the same time, raising the professional status of chefs, pastry chefs and restaurant managers. Winners of the MCA carry the title for life and become role models for future generations. Through the MCA, we can encourage young people to aspire to be the best thus securing a better future for the hospitality industry.


Committees and Judges

Chairman of the MCA: David Pitchford,

Proprietor, Reads Restaurant with Rooms


  • Chairman: Idris Caldora MCA, Executive Chef, Adopt a School
  • Committee: André Garrett MCA, Executive Head Chef, Cliveden House
  • Martin Green MCA, Head Chef, Whites Club
  • John Williams MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz London

Pastry Chefs:

  • Chairmen: Michael Nadell
  • Michel Roux OBE MOF
  • Committee:
    • Benoit Blin MCA, Head Pastry Chef, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
    • Claire Clark MBE MCA, Partner, Pretty Sweet
    • William Curley MCA, Patissier-Chocolatier, William Curley
    • Denis Drame MCA, Executive Chef, The Taste Lab, Classic Fine Foods
    • Yolande Stanley MCA, Consultant Pastry Chef Lecturer, The Pastry Training Company
    • Paul Williams MCA, Pastry Senior Sous Chef, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Restaurant Management Service:

  • Chairmen: Silvano Giraldin, Director, Le Gavroche Sergio Rebecchi, Director, Serenata Hospitality
  • Vice Chairmen: John Cousins, Director, The Food and Beverage Training Company Didier Garnier, Proprietor, Le Colombier
  • Committee:
    • Mourad Ben Tekfa MCA, Restaurant Director, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
    • François Bertrand MCA
    • Joël Claustre MCA, Retail Operations Director, Searcys
    • Stephane Davaíne
    • Jean-Luc Giquel, Group General Manager, The Cinnamon Group
    • Simon Girling, Executive Food & Beverage Operations Manager, The Ritz London
    • Rémy Lysé, Chief Operating Officer, The Arts Club
    • Michael Newton-Young MCA, Managing Director, JMK Classic Catering Ltd
    • Robert Rose MCA, Operations Manager Restaurants, Selfridges
    • Thierry Tomasin MCA, Proprietor/Restaurant Manager, Angelus Restaurant
    • Elaine Watson MCA, Food and Beverage Support Services Manager, The Gleneagles Hotel


Leading the hospitality profession by example – shaping the future through education. Founded in 1980, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is Britain’s leading professional association of Head Chefs, Pastry Chefs, Restaurant Managers and suppliers. Its objectives are primarily focused on the education and training of young people in the hospitality industry through the provision of career opportunities; recognising and rewarding talent and skill; and raising standards and awareness of food, food provenance, cooking and service. Members are united in the common purpose of supporting the future of the industry through thorough and extensive education and training. The Academy fulfils this aim through a number of education initiatives such as its charity Adopt a School; its Chefs Apprenticeship Programmes; the Annual Awards of Excellence and the Master of Culinary Arts.

Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

President: Brian Turner CBE

Chairman: John Williams MBE

Chief Executive: Sara Jayne Stanes OBE