An aspiring Liverpool chef at Lu Ban has been nominated for a prestigious national chef award.
Kevin Hoang, who is a trainee chef at Lu Ban Bar & Restaurant located in the city’s iconic Cains Brewery, is a finalist for the Best Young Chef of the Year 2020 – China / south-east award.
The 19-year-old, who lives in Liverpool’s Kensington district, is one of just four finalists in the category, with his rivals all based at restaurants in London.
The competition, supported by UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association, also includes categories for the Best Young Chef in the UK and Best Young Waiter in the UK and China / south-east Asia.
The winners will be announced next year, with the winning chef in the China / south east Asia category winning a week’s work experience at the Wynn Hotel in Macau including accommodation, flights from EVA Air and £500 from Lee Kum Kee.
Hoang, who has been working at Lu Ban since it opened in November 2019, said: “When I entered I didn’t think I’d be chosen as a finalist, but now I have, I’m really happy about it. I love cooking real Chinese food and the chance to be recognised with an award is amazing.”
Lu Ban executive head chef Dave Critchley, who oversees Hoang’s training, said:
“Kevin is a fast learner and has the potential to become a great chef.
“He shows his passion for authentic Chinese cuisine at Lu Ban every day and deserves recognition for his hard work. I’m so happy that he’s been chosen as a finalist.”
The competition, which is now in its 41st year, was relaunched last year the Nth Degree Global to recognise the best chefs and waiters and to promote hospitality as a vocation for young people.
The finalists submitted a video entry and questionnaire, which was assessed by a panel of judges, which included Ken Hom, Andrew Wong of Michelin-starred A Wong in London, Tony Truong of Mei Ume at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, Wee Boon Goh at Imperial Treasure, London, and Chong Choi Fong of China Tang at the Dorchester, London.
Finalists for Best Young Chef of the Year 2020 – China/south-east Asia:
· Qing lee Chen, Imperial Treasure, London
· Kevin Hoang, Lu Ban, Liverpool
· Maurine Lordios, Kai Mayfair, London
· Tibor Palasti, the Sushi Bar Harrods, London
Chairwoman of Young Chef Young Waiter China/south-east Asia, Ching-He Huang, said:
“The aim of this competition is to support the next generation of talent to recognise and award those who continue to give their all, as well as attracting promising young talent to work in our special industry.”