Chef, Chef job, Tapas, World best Tapas, Tapas competition

Global Success! Food Development Manager James placed 3rd in the World’s Best Tapas competition!

Global Success! Food Development Manager James placed 3rd in the World’s Best Tapas competition!

Steph Bull our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 07/12/2022

Earlier this month, the sixth Annual World Tapas Competition took place in Valladolid, Spain where our very own James Kirkwood, Food Development Manager at Browns, represented M&B and the UK as one of 16 elected chefs chasing the title of ‘Best Tapas in the World’!

We are over the moon to announce that James placed 3rd in the World with his dish “Mar Y Montaña”; an Iberica pork croquette with miso and pedro ximinez, topped with a red prawn crudo, and yuzu kosho aioli.

The competition had over 100 entries from 32 countries, all competing for the illustrious title and to win over the 10-member panel included nine Michelin starred chefs!  James’ tapas fitted the brief and “managed to symbolise the meaning” of what the elite panel were looking for.

We are overjoyed with James’ personal achievement as well as being a standout representative for M&B especially as this is the first time we have competed in the competition.

In this blog, we will find out from James himself what it means to be awarded the title of 3rd best tapas in the world and the journey that lead him to this outstanding achievement!

What made you compete for the title of Best Tapas in the World?

I saw taking part in the competition as a way of showcasing skills that I have picked up throughout my career, as well as the opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience within another country with an amazing food culture

What inspired your dishes?

My tapa was inspired by the incredible produce that Spain has to offer, but also using fermentation and exotic ingredients as flavour enhancers – the priority was to get as much flavour into 1 – 2 bites as possible.

How did it feel to represent your country in this competition?

It was an absolute honour to represent the United Kingdom and I am extremely proud to have been given the opportunity

When did you decide to become a chef and join M&B?

I decided to become a chef when I left school. I decided to join M&B as I saw it as a great opportunity to be able to gain multi-site experience in an industry-leading large company with established and loved brands.

What do you enjoy most about working for Mitchells & Butlers?

The variation of work, no two days are ever the same - we also have a fantastic, highly skilled food development team that is consistently moving the food propositions forward.

Fancy joining a team that pushes you to succeed?

To quote James’s mentor, Divisional Food Development Manager, Daniel Wilkes; ‘Being part of a team is about achieving something together that you never thought possible on your own.’ At M&B we believe in supporting our team members to reach heights you may never thought was possible! Check out our available kitchen jobs today and kickstart you career in the Kitchen. Who knows what heights you could reach?

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