7 February 2020

A Loughborough College chef has been awarded a special prize after impressing judges at a national culinary competition final.

Brannon Underwood has been invited to train at two Michelin star London restaurant Bibendum after a standout performance at the Riso Gallo Young Risotto Chef of the Year.

The 17 year-old hospitality and catering student was singled out for the accolade after going head to head with ten other regional winners from across the UK, including young chefs from some of the country’s top restaurants.

The judging panel included Consultant Chef Paul Gayter MBE; Danilo Cortellini, Executive Chef at the Italian Embassy; Adriano Cavagnini, Executive Chef at the Bulgari Hotel; Frances Atkins from the Yorke Arms - and one of the few female Michelin-starred chefs in the UK and Davide Degiovanni, Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café.

Brannon was presented with his special accolade at a special reception held at Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café. His ‘stage’ will see him join the kitchen of renowned chef Claude Bosi’s to work on his critically acclaimed French haute cuisine.

“Brannon had been involved in other competitions with us – but in a team or group. This time he was on his own, walking into the 2020 final as a student alongside industry chefs. Understandably he was nervous - but from the moment they started the clock he was incredible and produced an outstanding dish,” said hospitality and catering lead and chef lecturer Darren Creed.

“After the cook off, Brannon joined a masterclass with Davide Degiovanni, Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café, which was followed by a reception.

“The judges praised Brannon’s Barbeque Burnt Beef End Risotto with smoky horseradish dressing, his organisation in the kitchen and the skills he had demonstrated and said they couldn’t let him go without crediting his performance – then they announced his stage at Bibendum.

“I actually think it took at least two hours before it fully sunk in with Brannon. It had meant so much to him to even reach that stage in a competition which is aimed at industry chefs but he found the whole final an amazing experience - and eventually began to appreciate what a a fantastic prize he’d received in recognition of everything he had done. It’s such a boost to his confidence and he can’t wait to get into the kitchen at Bibendum.”

Thank you to Liz Udall from Loughborough College for submitting this news story. If you would like to share a news story from your organisation, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at media@skillsedugroup.co.uk