Masterchef The Professionals finalist Claire Hutchings will be heading an all-female line-up at Edgbaston restaurant Simpsons next month.
She will join a brigade of past and present female chefs for a one off dinner on Thursday January 24.
Claire reached the Masterchef Professional final in 2011 and began her career at Simpsons at the age of just 16.
She now works as a private chef and consultant in Mallorca, though she’ll be returning for the filming of BBC Masterchef The Professionals Re-Match, a one off special featuring five finalists from the popular competition.
The programme will be aired on BBC2 on December 27 at 8pm.
Claire said: “Simpsons is a very special place for me – it gave me the foundations of my career and I learnt from the best during my four years there.
“When I knew I’d be back in the UK, I contacted executive chef Luke Tipping to see whether he’d be interested in a collaboration and we came up with the idea of a dinner cooked by female chefs from the restaurant’s 25-year history.”
Who’s joining Claire?
For one night only, Claire will be joined by a talented line up of chefs including Georgina Ward, Helen Evans, Jacqueline Keenan, Angelina Adamo and Rachel Tokitsu.
Claire said: “I am so excited to be heading back in the kitchen and even more so that I’ll be with Georgina, Helen and Jackie, who I worked closely with when I first started at Simpsons.”
Georgina Ward (née Thorpe) won her first chef award at the age of 17 and it was at the Stratford Cook and Serve where she was spotted by Simpsons chef-patron Andreas Antona, pictured below with Luke Tipping.
He invited her to spend a day at the restaurant and was so impressed by her cooking talents and work ethic that he offered here a full time job that day.
Georgina is currently taking a break to take care of her young son and daughter.
Helen Evans won British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year in 2009 and enjoyed two years working at Simpsons.
Jacqueline Keenan’s passion for chocolate knows no bounds and she regularly wowed diners with her creations during her time as pastry chef at Simpsons.
Jacqueline now owns the award-winning artisan chocolate business La Fleur de Chocolat in Herefordshire.
Angelina Adamo recently collected two silver medals in the Culinary World Cup, where she competed as part of the British Culinary Federation team. She is currently commis chef at Simpsons.
Rachel Tokitsu was recently promoted to chef de partie at Simpsons and has become somewhat of a master baker on the team. She joined the team in 2017.
The front of house operations will be in the safe hands of Natasha Shorthouse, a long-standing member of the Simpsons team.
Natasha left her role as restaurant manager to become a mother. She was offered a new position as office manager in 2016 that enabled her to reduce her hours and take care of her son.
Luke Tipping said: “Andreas and I are extremely proud of the female chefs we’ve worked with and the fantastic careers they’ve carved out for themselves since leaving us.
“They have all contributed a huge amount to our success over the years and I’m sure they will do us proud at this dinner.
“As well as a fantastic experience for diners, it is an opportunity to celebrate female talent in hospitality and I hope it will inspire more women to consider it as a career.”
How to ensure a place
The six-course dinner will be priced at £80 per person and will include a welcome drink on arrival.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 454 3434 to book a table.
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