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Royal Navy chef through to semi-finals of national culinary competition

3 August 2022
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A Royal Navy chef has reached the semi-finals of the National Chef of the Year contest.

Leading Hand Mattie Tew, 40, progressed after creating a three-course menu that impressed the judging panel, led by Michelin-starred chef Kenny Aktinson.

Mattie, a member of the Royal Navy Culinary Arts Team, is up against 39 other competitors who will be whittled down to ten on August 12, with the finalists competing in a cook-off at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London on September 19.

He will need to create an amuse bouche-style signature dish which reflects his favourite style of cuisine and a short video explaining what the dish is and why it is important to him.

Mattie, who joined the RN in 1999 and is based at HMS Sultan in Gosport, said: “I am very humbled to be in the semi-finals, competing amongst some of the industry’s best chefs and to do this under the Royal Navy banner sends a good message to RN chefs who have the same passion in the future.”

I am very humbled to be in the semi-finals, competing amongst some of the industry’s best chefs and to do this under the Royal Navy banner sends a good message to RN chefs who have the same passion in the future.

Leading Hand Mattie Tew

Mattie’s three-course menu comprised:

Cod Wars: Line Caught Cornish Cod Loin in a Beurre Noisette, Laver seaweed Crisp, Soused Cockles in Limoncello with Picked Samphire, Dill Caviar, Caper & Dill Salsa with a Smoked Cod Sauce;

Hampton Estate Venison:  Ash Burnt Loin Venison rolled in Walnut & Nettle, Venison Rib in Bone Marrow Crumb, Haunch of Venison Cassoulet with Broad Beans, Baby Heritage Carrot in Carrot butter, Asparagus Tips, Buttered Kale, Pickled Walnut Ketchup, Blackberries Blackberry Jus, finished with Garlic Chives.

Golden Celebration: White Chocolate & Strawberry Delice with a Strawberry Feuilletine Base & Golden Chocolate Cloak, Elidable Golden Sand, White Strawberries, Strawberry Gel, Champagne Foam, Crème fraiche & Basil Sorbet, Micro Basil

The winner will receive a host of prizes, including culinary experiences, equipment and trips.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the competition and the judges are looking for the next person to follow in the footsteps of recent champions Thomas Swaby, Nick Smith, and Steve Groves. 

National Chef of the Year was first run in 1972 and winners in the last 50 years include Gordon Ramsay, Simon Hulstone, and Alyn Williams. 

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