Kenilworth chef reaches final of ‘tough’ national culinary competition

Adam Bennett, chef director at The Cross in Kenilworth
Adam Bennett, chef director at The Cross in Kenilworth
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A Kenilworth chef has reached the final of one of the toughest culinary competitions in the country.

Adam Bennett, chef director of The Cross at Kenilworth in New Street, has secured a place in this year’s Royal Academy of Arts ‘Master of Culinary Arts’ (MCA) final.

He will compete against four other chefs in the final which takes place at University College Birmingham on Saturday September 23.

The MCA generally only opens for entry once every four years and is considered one of the toughest challenges for British chefs.

The qualification of MCA is only awarded to those who have displayed mastery of the complex and specialised knowledge and skills in culinary arts which are required to be a first class chef.

Adam Bennett said, “The MCA is highly regarded in the industry and as with any challenge it provides the opportunity to learn and grow your skills.

“I’ve been extremely busy trying to fit in my preparation in between heading up The Cross so to reach the finals is a great feeling.

“Now I need to give myself enough time to be ready for the final as it would mean so much to achieve MCA status.”

To secure a place in the final Adam had to cook a three course meal at University College Birmingham on Wednesday June 28.

The meal was very specific - the starter was a consommé with three garnishes of duck liver royale, stuffed chicken wing and stuffed morels, the main was a platter of sea trout and lobster with three garnishes of the chef’s choosing, and for dessert the chefs had to follow a recipe from the Ritz Hotel.

The chefs had six and a half hours to complete the challenge, and Adam’s effort was judged good enough to progress to the final.

In the final, Adam will join Chris Hill of The Ritz Hotel, Adam Smith of Coworth Park, Adam Thomason of, Deloitte, Restaurant Associates and Anthony Wright of University College Birmingham.