Head chef causes a stir

Hawthorns chef nominated for top award

ALBION head chef Mike Bullard is continuing to cause a stir in the hospitality industry after being shortlisted for the Banqueting & Event Chef Award by the Craft Guild of Chefs (CGoC).

The 28-year-old was named Chef of the Year at the 2012 MARCHE (Midland Association for Restaurants, Caterers, Hotels and Entertainment) Awards and has gone on to receive national acclaim since joining the club 12 months ago. 

Bullard will face hot competition from culinary experts working for Chelsea, Newcastle United and The O2 Arena at the CGoC 20th anniversary awards ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel, Mayfair, London, on Monday, June 10.  

The Hawthorns chef, who was put forward for the award anonymously by one of his peers, admits he is surprised and honoured to have been recognised by the UK’s leading chefs’ association.  

“This is a big deal for me as the Craft Guild of Chefs is massive within the UK food industry,” said Bullard.

“It’s national recognition for your work and is generally associated with extremely high standards.

“I didn’t even know I’d been nominated until Monday so I’m still very surprised by it.

“To be nominated for an award at this level is pleasing and I’m delighted.

“It is a prestigious award just to be nominated for so I can’t imagine how it would feel if I were to win. 

“To be shortlisted in the top three is incredible.

“The guys I am up against are both quality chefs who work for large renowned companies so for little old Mike at West Bromwich Albion Football Club this is really something.”  

And Bullard believes the nomination is further evidence cuisine at The Hawthorns is hitting the spot. 

“We’ve gone back to basics and we use good, fresh, quality British produce and we allow the flavours to do the rest of the work,” he added.

“In the kitchen we concentrate on flavour and we like to think we please our customers with good quality food.

“We’re starting to get recognition for our hard work and I hope it continues for a long time to come.

“Our name is beginning to be banded around as a result of our good food and hospitality.”