Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel has been given reason to celebrate. The hotel’s Senior Sous Chef Zoltan Szabo is the only Glasgow chef out of 40 finalists to be shortlisted for the 2012 National Chef of the Year (NCOTY) title. Previous winners include celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, Simon Hulstane head chef at The Elephant, Torquay, and Gordon Ramsay’s leading man, Mark Sargeant.
The 28-year-old, originally from Budapest, trained in his home country and in Helsinki before moving to the UK in 2005. Zoltan worked as junior sous chef at Hilton Glasgow then head chef at the MacDonald Forest Hills Hotel & Resort in Aberfoyle. Two years later, Grand Central Hotel re-opened its doors following a £20m refurbishment and he joined the team as senior sous chef.
He said, ”I am honoured to be shortlisted for the National Chef of the Year title and to follow in the footsteps of many top UK chefs. I’ve set my sights on making the final, however I understand there’s still a long way to go and for the moment I’m staying firmly focused on the semi-finals next month.”
Zoltan will now compete in one of four semi-finals next month at Sheffield College and Westminster Kingsway College in London where he will battle it out for a place in the competition’s final.
Eight contenders will go through to the final of the national competition, which will be held at The Restaurant Show at Earls Court 2 in London on 9th October 2012, with one winner scooping the NCOTY title and a prize package worth £15,000.