Young Liverpool chef scoops top national award

Using a menu he devised himself Edwin Kuk, a junior sous chef at Liverpool’s Art School Restaurant, won the Young National Chef of The Year 2021 at an event in London

Edwin Kuk
Edwin Kuk, a junior sous chef at Liverpool’s Art School Restaurant


Junior sous chef Edwin Kuk, from Liverpool’s Art School Restaurant has won the Young National Chef of The Year 2021.

Competing against some of the UK’s top young culinary talent, Ed becomes the first chef from a Liverpool restaurant to take the top award. The 22-year-old learned his trade at The City of Liverpool College.

Born in Hong Kong, but very much a son of Liverpool, he spent much of his early life travelling through Asia with his family, where he discovered a love for the culinary arts. He cites his influences as Nathan Outlaw, Gordon Ramsay, Uncle Roger, the Roux Brothers and, his mentor, Art School owner Paul Askew

Following victory in the North West Young Chef of The Year in 2019, Edwin was entered into the national competition. In line with the brief, he cooked his own menu at the final venie, Le Corden Bleu in London.

He served up a starter of velouté of Wirral watercress and spinach with ravioli of organic Colston Basset cheese, walnut, Granny Smith apple and pickled celery.

His main course was steamed loin of Norwegian cod wrapped in prawn mousse and served with beluga lentils, edamame beans, lotus root and Asian broth. A dessert of cinnamon Pain Perdu, lemon verbena yoghurt ice cream with caramelised damsons, white chocolate and pistachio completed his winning menu.

Paul Askew said: “The process of refining and shaping his menu to bring out his own food culture with that of The Art School was fantastic. Mentoring and supporting his journey has been an absolute joy and it’s another first for our great city.”

At a challenging time for the hospitality industry, Edwin wants to encourage young chefs to “stay outside of your comfort zone, keep trying, and you will always learn something”.

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