It’s all about that bass for St Albans chef

Neil Yule

Neil Yule - Credit: Archant

Chef Neil Yule proved he knows knows his onions - and his meat, fish and fruit - after winning a national culinary competition.

Father-of-one Neil, 42, who lives in Bricket Wood, beat off competition from seven other chefs in a 90-minute cook-off to win Sodexo Chef of the Year

at the Hospitality Show in Birmingham last week.

National Chef of the Year Russell Bateman and Michelin-starred Alyn Williams were among the team of judges who chose Neil’s three courses over those prepared by his colleagues.​

With a strong emphasis on seasonal, sustainable produce, Neil and his commis chef Daniel Taw, had to produce an exciting three-course menu to include a sea bass starter, British or Irish Lamb as a main course and an innovative dessert using Bramley apples. ​

As winner, Neil will take part in a study trip focusing on British artisan producers which will include a hands-on training activity at River Cottage, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s award-winning cookery school.

Neil is based at Sodexo’s contract at GSK Mansion House in North Mymms where he is responsible for a dozen catering and hospitality staff delivering lunches, buffets and fine dining for up to 150 people at a time.​

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He joined Sodexo as a sous chef in 1997 before being promoted to head chef in 2000.

Neil said, “It’s a fantastic feeling to win and it’s been a great day out. I was a little bit nervous before the start, but once I got into the 90 minutes I really enjoyed the experience.

“Daniel and I only got the chance to practice together once before the contest but once it got under way we were able to get ahead of schedule and give ourselves time to produce dishes the judges seem to have liked.”