There was British – and Brummie – disappointment in the Bocuse d’Or Europe 2016 which has just ended in Hungary.
Tamás Széll, from the Michelin-starred restaurant Onyx in Budapest, was the gold winner.
Despite weeks of dedicated practice, Team UK did not qualify for a place in the world final.
UK candidate Tony Wright, chef lecturer from the Atrium restaurant at University College Birmingham, was supported by commis chef Thomas Downes, also from University College Birmingham, and Nick Vadis, executive chef for Compass Group UK and Ireland.
They are pictured with Brian Turner, coach Nick Vadis, candidate Tony Wright and commis Thomas Downes. The photograph was taken by Jodi Hinds, Official Bocuse d’Or Team UK photographer.
UK President and Juror Brian Turner CBE, one of 20 judges, said: “Once again the standard of cooking and presentation excelled with the top scoring countries producing stunning entries.
“On their home ground in front of their own supporters, Hungary did all that was needed to pull off a fantastic win.
“I am very proud of the team’s performance and really appreciate the support of the wider team who give so much time and our generous sponsors.
“Despite all the UK team’s best efforts we didn’t reach the level that we’d anticipated and along with great culinary nations like Spain and Italy we sadly didn’t reach the qualification places.
“We might have a fantastic dining scene in the UK but when it comes to support for the Bocuse d’Or, we are found wanting.
“We now need to focus on re-grouping, learning from the experience and taking stock for how we can do things differently for Bocuse d’Or Europe 2018.”
Széll’s leg of young deer grilled on charcoal with Hungarian spices, mushrooms and smoked magalicza pork fat and a lightly salted Sterlet and langoustine glazed with pickled ramson seeds and brown butter received 1,335 points, 53 points ahead from second place.
Christopher William Davidsen, from Søstrene Karlsen in Norway, won silver and Alexander Sjögren, from Sweden, took the bronze.
A total of 11 top-sccoring chefs will now compete in the world final in Lyon on January 24-25.