Top Scottish chef takes runner up spot in UK’s National Chef of the Year competition

Derek Johnstone, Head Chef at Borthwick Castle near Gorebridge in Midlothian, has been named runner-up in a prestigious competition marking the country’s best chef.

He was the only Scottish chef to have reached the finals of the highly respected industry competition and secured the runner up position in the Craft Guild of Chef’s ‘National Chef of the Year’ competition.

The winner of the Craft Guild of Chefs ‘National Chef of the Year’ competition was Steve Groves, Head Chef at Roux at Parliament Square.

The Scottish chef finished in second place among the 10 finalists after taking part in an intense cook-off on Tuesday at The Restaurant Show at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre.

Last month, the chefs were presented with a mystery basket containing the ingredients they would use to create their menu for the competition final.

Derek’s three-course menu, including pan fried fillet of sea bream, roasted saddle of pork, and vanilla poached William pears with clementine and Valrhona dark chocolate impressed the judges, who described Derek’s dishes as “balanced and packed full of flavour.”

Derek said: “It’s every chef’s dream to compete for the prestigious National Chef of the Year title, and thanks to the support and backing of the team here at Borthwick Castle, that dream has become a reality.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the National Chef of the Year 2020 competition from start to finish – it’s been a wonderful experience, and I’m thrilled to have been a part of it. I’d also like to say congratulations to Steve on a very well-deserved win.”