DETERMINATION, ambition and a competitive spirit have seen an Oxford chef named best in the country.

Kuba Winkowski, head chef at the Feathered Nest Inn, has been crowned National Chef of the Year.

Kuba wowed the judges in the finals of the renowned competition with a menu of native lobster, oyster emulsion, celery, sea herbs buttermilk followed by yorkshire grouse, cabbage, foie gras, quince, celeriac, seeds and sticky toffee, lemon, clotted cream and walnuts for dessert.

Oxford Mail:

His dishes were ranked the tastiest by 21 of the UK’s best chefs, overseen by Gary Jones, executive chef from Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

The cook-off was the grand finale after a series of rigorous challenges which the ten finalists have undertaken during their culinary journey. It started with an online entry in February where chefs were tasked with devising a three-course menu for two guests.

Judging of the menus was completed anonymously and then the top 40 chefs battled it out at either Sheffield College or Le Cordon Bleu in June, to be whittled down to just ten. The panel of judges for the final included Tom Kerridge, Clare Smyth, Claude Bosi, Jonny Lake and Paul Ainsworth.

Oxford Mail:

Chair of judges for The National Chef of the Year and executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Gary Jones said: “Kuba was frustrated after last year, not because he didn’t win but because he wanted to be better.

He’s gone away and thought about what he could achieve with real determination, ambition and competitive spirit. He’s sharper and fitter than he’s ever been so he could be the best chef possible and he absolutely deserved to win today.”

On the same night, Henry Wadsworth, chef de partie from Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons was announced as the new Young National Chef of the Year.

This award is for talented young chefs aged under 24.