Ian Musgrave from The Ritz in London wins Bocuse d’Or UK National Selection

Ian Musgrave from The Ritz London will be the next candidate to represent the UK in the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s largest and most prestigious chef contest. The Bocuse d’Or UK Selection took place at The Restaurant Show in London Olympia on Monday 30 September. The three hour 45 minutes contest required the chefs to prepare a vegetable terrine and a poultry dish using Cotswold White Chicken with six portions of each served to the judges.

As in the world final, the competition had a staggered start with Ruth Hansom, the first chef to begin at 08.00. The vegetable terrine had to be served plated, warm or cold, three hours and five minutes after each start.

The candidates had to present the Cotswold White free-range chicken dish on a silver platter with three different garnishes and a suitable sauce after 3 hours and 45 minutes from the start of the competition.

Ian, sous chef at The Ritz, was announced winner in front of a packed stage at 4pm. He joined The Ritz as chef de partie in 2011 and during this time The Ritz was awarded its first Michelin star. Ian won the British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year in 2018

Ian says, “I’ve always felt inspired by the Bocuse d’Or competition and what it represents, the importance and the history of haute or grand cuisine. To win today and represent the UK is a true honour.”

Throughout the competition, Ian was assisted by commis chef, Tilly Warne, also from The Ritz.

Ian’s winning menu:

  • Wood roast pepper, tomato and basil terrine with avocado, black olive and elixir of tomato
  • Ballotine of Cotswold chicken, smoked Alsace bacon and wild mushroom
  • Chicken and leek royal, lovage emulsion and fennel flower
  • Pea mousse, parmesan sable and pea tendrils
  • Celeriac and Perigord truffle terrine

Ian will now compete for a place in the world final in the European heats in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2020.

Simon Rogan, President of Bocuse d’Or UK, thanked all the chefs who took part and the jury for their role in selecting the next candidate.

He stated: “The Bocuse d’Or is the best competition in the world and we have the British chefs capable of winning it. We just need the financial support and resource to compete on the same level as the winning countries and I hope being here today can help us to achieve our goals. To have a UK candidate on the podium would be the proudest moment of my career.”

The four chefs who competed in the final were:

  • Ruth Hansom, head chef at Pomona in London, Young National Chef of the Year winner 2017 and The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Michael Bourdain Scholar 2016. Her commis chef was Ben Dullea, also from Pomona London.

  • Ian Musgrave, sous chef at The Ritz London and British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year 2018 with Tilly Warne from The Ritz London.

  • Luke Selby, Great British Menu winner 2019 and Roux Scholar 2017 and
    National Chef of the Year 2018. Luke’s commis was Megan Coape-Arnold from The Ritz London

  • Robert Sussex from ISS and National Chef of the Year 2019 semi-finalist. His commis was Robert Triff, also from ISS.

Peter Griffiths MBE, Bocuse d’Or UK Academy treasurer and competition director, oversaw the contest along with UK Academy chair, Andreas Antona.

The Jury included chefs who have witnessed the Bocuse d’Or contest first hand, including invigilators:

  • Nick Vadis, culinary director of Compass Group and Bocuse d’Or Team UK coach from 2010 until 2014.
  • Tom Phillips, head chef at Michelin starred Restaurant Story and Bocuse d’Or UK candidate 2019.
  • Tony Wright, Bocuse d’Or candidate 2016 and MCA winner 2017

Judges of the vegetable terrine:

  • Adam Bennett MCA, executive chef at the Michelin starred Cross at Kenilworth and the UK’s most successful Bocuse d’Or candidate to date.
  • Alyn Williams, executive chef at Michelin starred Alyn Williams at The Westbury. Alyn won the National Chef of the Year title in 2012 and has worked in some of Britain’s best kitchens.
  • Ashley Palmer Watts, chef director at two Michelin starred Dinner by Heston. 
  • Jonny Lake, former executive chef at the three Michelin starred The Fat Duck and chef at the soon to be opened Trivet restaurant in London.

Judges of the chicken platter:

  • John Williams MBE, executive chef at The Ritz London, technical director of Bocuse d’Or Team UK and Bocuse d’Or candidate 2001
  • Simon Hulstone, Bocuse d’Or candidate 2009-2011, Roux scholar 2008 and chef owner of the Michelin starred The Elephant restaurant in Torquay
  • Tom Aikens, chef owner of Tom’s Kitchen and celebrated British chef, Tom counts both Pierre Koffmann and the late Joel Robouchon as his chef mentors.
  • Tom Sellers, chef owner and founder of the Michelin starred Restaurant Story, executive chef of The Lickfold Inn

The VIP panel judged both the terrine and the platter and included:

  • Brian Turner CBE, Honorary Life Vice-President for Bocuse d’Or Team UK and UK President from 1989 until 2018.
  • Pierre Koffmann, who held three Michelin stars at his London restaurant La Tante Claire for 15 years and is one of the UK’s most respected chefs.
  • Philip Tessier, Bocuse d’or Silver winner in 2015 and coach for the winning Team USA in 2017 and former chef at The French Laundry, Per Se and Le Moulin de Mougins.
  • Simon Rogan, Bocuse d’Or Team UK President and chef patron of two Michelin starred L’Enclume in Cartmel, one Michelin starred Roganic and Aulis in London and Roganic in Hong Kong.

Andreas Antona, chair of the Bocuse d’Or UK Academy added, “It was a fantastic competition and great to see the hard work from all the chefs who competed and produced excellent plates and platters. Thanks to all who took part and to all the members of the jury who gave up their time to invigilate the chefs and taste the entries. Thank you to our sponsors: TRUEfoods, Aubrey Allen, Elle et Vire, Faber, Ritter Courivaud and Valrhona who made it possible, to Bragard for supplying the chef whites and to the students of Westminster Kingsway College for their hard work and professionalism in assisting with the running of the contest.”

It was great to bring the UK heat to London and it brings us ever closer to our dream of reaching the podium.”