With the 2019 Kikkoman Masters now open for entries, find out more about this years distinguished judging panel.
New to the judging panel for 2019 is Mark Edwards. Mark is the executive chef at restaurants Nobu London and Nobu Berkeley ST, and has been working in kitchens for more than 40 years, with a rich and varied background that has taken him to restaurants and hotels from London to Hong Kong. Working closely with celebrated Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to set up the kitchens and train teams since 1997, Mark oversees the pass at Nobu’s London outposts, maintaining the high standards across both kitchens.
The world-travelling chef started his career in the kitchen aged 13 when he took a part-time job in a small seafood restaurant near his family home in Kent. Mark’s career has taken him on a culinary tour, working in positions in Europe, America and the Far East, before launching Nobu London with COMO’s The Metropolitan Hotel on London’s Park Lane in February 1997. Since then, Nobu’s presence in the UK has gone from strength to strength, and in 2005 he opened Nobu Berkeley ST. Not just a trailblazer in the kitchen, Mark has also co-authored the Nobu West Cookbook published in 2006.
With a host of awards to his name Adam Handling continues to build his restaurant empire. Well known for his restaurants The Frog by Adam Handling, The Frog Hoxton and most recently Adam Handling Chelsea, Adam is a huge fan of Kikkoman Soy Sauce and uses it in a host of recipes in his restaurants. Adam has proved he is an ambitious and highly talented chef, among his passions is the ability to implement a zero-waste policy across his restaurants.
Here's what Adam has to say about the Kikkoman Masters - "I'm very excited to be a part of the Kikkoman Masters, it's a competition that people should be talking about because it's what all chefs use in their kitchens. Kikkoman Soy Sauce is a fundamental ingredient as far as I’m concerned, and the Masters is a great competition for chefs to push boundaries and showcase their talent, and at the same time learn from industry peers and mentors. A trip to Japan is an amazing prize and a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the wonders of Japanese cuisine and culture."
Simon Hulstone is chef proprietor at The Elephant restaurant, Torquay. Simon is a big believer in culinary competitions such as the Kikkoman Masters and how they can help chefs to develop and take the next step in their culinary career. By his early teens, Simon had already notched up several world junior titles and has been adding to the list ever since. Other notable awards include the Roux scholarship for young chefs in 2003 and the National Chef of the Year award in 2008. His restaurant The Elephant was awarded a Michelin Star in 2006 and continues to put the English riviera on the culinary map.
When it comes to competitions and the Kikkoman Masters, here’s what Simon has to say – ““I’ve done a lot of competitions and for me competitions can be invaluable for both experience and skills. The Kikkoman Masters is up there with the premier competitions to enter and to win. Every chef should enter the Kikkoman Masters, to develop, to compete and for the chance to win an incredible prize, a trip to Japan”.
Also new to the Kikkoman Masters judging panel for 2019 is Pip Lacey. Pip began her career in food in 2008, when she decided to leave her job as a graphic designer to pursue her love for food. Pip got lucky with an opportunity to start work at the York and Albany under head chef Angela Hartnett and since that moment she’s not looked back.
After a short stint at Gordon Ramsay’s Royal Hospital Road, Pip resumed her tutelage under Angela Hartnett at Murano in Mayfair where she became head chef. Pip’s profile rose further when she appeared on Great British Menu in 2017, beating fellow top chefs to win the starter dish of the competition. After years of work at Murano, Pip was ready to take the next step and in November 2018 launched her own restaurant Hicce. Located at Coal Drops Yard in London’s Kings Cross.
Hicce, meaning ‘current, of the moment’ in Latin, serves modern dishes cooked over an open wood fire. The restaurant focuses around Pip’s passion and skill of cooking with open fire and the traditional techniques required to produce beautiful dishes.
David returns to the judging panel again for the 2019 Kikkoman Masters. Culinary director at Sodexo UK and Ireland, David is responsible for menu development and personnel development across all areas of Sodexo UK. Alongside his work with Sodexo, David is also a Vice-President of The Craft Guild of Chefs, working to increase standards within the culinary industry. David is a highly respected and well-decorated chef within the restaurant industry with a vast experience ranging from delivering high quality services in broad catering environments to select fine dining services.
When it comes to competitions and specifically the Kikkoman Masters, David is a big advocate, he says “Winning a trip to Japan is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the competition is a great challenge to be a part of. Entries for the Kikkoman Masters need to be submitted by the 28th June so I would encourage all working chefs to be a part of this competition and enter now!”
Brian Turner is one of the nation’s most well-known chefs, having been a key figure in the restaurant industry since 1971. Brian’s training included work at top restaurants Simpson’s in the Strand, The Savoy, The Beau Rivage and Claridge’s before opening the kitchens of The Capital Hotel with Richard Shepherd where they were awarded a then rare Michelin Star. In 1986 Brian opened his own restaurant, Turner’s in Walton Street, Chelsea and has continued to open various others over the years.
In 2002 Brian was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for his services to tourism and training in the catering industry. With his longstanding TV career, including 14 and a half years on the successful Ready Steady Cook Show, Brian is focused on encouraging young people to work in the catering industry. Brian is passionate about food and cooking and plays active roles in campaigns to encourage British people and chefs to get back into the kitchen and get cooking.
Kikkoman Masters 2018 winner Fergus Wilford will be joining the judging panel for the Kikkoman Masters 2019. In his young culinary career Fergus has risen to the top quickly, with a CV featuring positions at Le Manoir and Andre Garrett at Cliveden House, Fergus now plies his trade at Gravetye Manor, located in the Sussex countryside.
A Kikkoman Masters 2017 Finalist and 2018 winner, Fergus knows exactly what is required to win this great competition and he’s on the lookout for 2019’s winner. If you need any inspiration at all to enter the competition this year, then here’s what Fergus had to say about being part of the Kikkoman Masters, “I really enjoyed taking part in the Kikkoman Masters 2018. I knew the competition would be tough as all the chefs’ dishes were of a very high standard. Visiting Japan as part of my prize for 2018 was an amazing experience and it was wonderful to sample the Japanese culture and cuisine.”