Hilton Glasgow’s Head Chef Joins Industry Elite to Compete for UK Cuisine’s Ultimate Badge of Honour

This information originated in U.K. English.

September 01, 2011

GLASGOW, Scotland - Hilton Glasgow's head chef, Derek Donaldson will join ten of the UK's best chefs as they cook their way through a £125-a-head 11 course gourmet meal to discover who is the Visionary Dining Chef of the Year.

Mentoring them through the final - at the prestigious Lakes Hotel School at Kendal, on 20 October - will be 11 of the country's more established Michelin-star and AA-rosette chefs.  Derek will be mentored through the process by Allan Irwin, head chef at Lujon in Keston, Kent who both come from Linwood in Renfrewshire.

The coveted award will go to the winner voted by 50 diners and a judging panel of international industry professionals including Monica Galetti, senior sous chef at the renowned 2-star restaurant Le Gavroche and Sat Bains, one of the UK's most exciting culinary talents taking British food to a world class stage.  The prize is an air flight and meal at any restaurant in the world.

"Our chef of the year will be someone who shows a natural culinary vision," says Michelin-starred Master Chef Gordon Cartwright, managing director of Visionary Dining and former AA restaurant inspector.  "We are looking for the use of clear natural vibrant flavours, flawless textures and high levels of intuitive skill. The winning dish will provide an ultimately memorable 'wow' factor."

Gordon Cartwright, who 'hung up his whites' in 1997 to work with the AA's hotel and restaurant inspection service, created Visionary Dining's world class 'Pro Chef Training' programme to raise culinary standards in the UK among the country's future star chefs.

"The programme is the ultimate badge of honour - because we push the boundaries of hospitality and culinary education, at every level, in pursuit of excellence, skill, passion and, above all, vision."

To reach the Chef of the Year final, each candidate has shown an intuitive understanding of world class ingredients to cook outstanding menus from their mentor chefs' restaurants, without any preparation, using unfamiliar techniques and equipment.

The finalists will tackle an 11-course tasting menu with accompanying matched wines that will challenge them in themed areas from soup, sea and game to birds and chocolate.  Derek's challenge will be to create a masterful dish encompassing all of his skills and creative talent with the main ingredient of apples.

Derek said:  "I am pleased with the category as there are many different cooking techniques that you can use with apples.  Alan and myself have already brain-stormed some different ideas and the focus will be on getting the balance of both texture and flavours, while creating something new and exciting.  I've gained lots of knowledge and skills through the Visionary Dining Pro Chefs Training courses and I am confident I can do well in the final."

The dinner, and award-winning finale, is being staged in support of Hospitality Action - the UK restaurant and hospitality industry's own charity - which helps all workers and past workers who find themselves in crisis.

Since joining Hilton Glasgow in May 2007, Derek has demonstrated his culinary flair at one of the city's finest restaurants, Cameron's Restaurant, as well as catering for thousands directing the banqueting function at the countless award ceremonies and conferences which regularly take place at the hotel.  Cameron's Cookery Experience was launched in 2009 by Derek Donaldson, to showcase the existing talents of Hilton Glasgow's cuisine team to visiting guests and the wider Glasgow public.

Please contact Hilton Glasgow, 1 William Street, Glasgow G3 8HT, on 0141 204 5583 or for further information, please visit www.hilton.co.uk/glasgow.

Tracy Simpson
0141 222 2266 / 07515 066358

Laura Duncan          
0141 222 2266 / 07988152261

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