Belfast Chef Takes Prestigious National Chef of the Year Title

There will have been much celebration in Deanes Howard Street this week and not just because Danni Barry’s EIPIC has retained it’s Michelin star. Danni’s sous chef, James Devine will be on a high all of his own after being crowned National Chef of the Year by the UK’s Craft Guild of Chefs.

Considered to be one of the most prestigious accolades in the industry, the 10 finalists competed in a notoriously pressurised live cook off at The Restaurant Show in London’s Olympia for a panel of esteemed judges, chaired by 3 star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin Female Chef of the Year Clare Smyth. Clare was joined by fellow master chefs such as Daniel Clifford, Dan Doherty and Sat Bains, who were tasked with awarding the title.

James fought off stiff competition from his 9 fellow finalists, including House of Tides head chef Danny Parker, Liam McKenna, the head chef at Trump International and Stephanie Coupland, the chef de partie at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Impressing the judges with Tees Valley Rib of Beef and a soft centered chocolate & coffee tart, Devine pipped Adam Thomason of Deloitte, Restaurant Associates and Charles Smith of The Mayfair’s Alyn Williams, who came in second and third place, to the title.

Previous winners of the accolade include Gordon Ramsay and Mark Sargeant, so we can be sure we have not heard the last of James Devine.

For more information on The National Chef of the Year click here.

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