National Chef of the Year

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 a year in the making . . .

NCOTY and YNCOTY are a year long in the making.  It’s a giant equation of digital content that we help create for the Craft Guild of Chefs. It starts during the previous year with the promo video being created for the following years marketing and ‘call to action’ for entries. After the selection process, the semi-finals then take place in June both in Sheffield and London at Le Cordon Bleu Cookery School, carrying out both photography and video. The Mentor Day follows at the beginning of September and content is created in readiness for the Restaurant Show and the Final itself . . . read more

Semi-Finals Sheffield

The first of the semi-finals are held at the University.  Photography of all the cooking action takes place as well as portraits of the judges and the finalists.  Video footage was also taken to be incorporated into the promotional video.

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Semi-Finals London

This is a big day, not quite the ‘longest day’ but not far off.  An early start at Le Cordon Bleu London in Bloomsbury. First up was photographing the group of judges in Bloomsbury Square.   Two kitchens were used for the heats for NCOTY and YNCOTY on two separate levels; both filming and stills photography of all the action throughout the day of chefs mise-en-place, cooking and plating; four heats in total.  It’s important here to capture the atmosphere, the pressure, and engagement with the judges.  Then capturing on camera some of the finalists who were heat winners with their awards. Then the video footage of interviews with a selection of the finalists.  Post semi-finals day then involves a large quantity of editing of the ‘stills’ to provide for the press.  In addition, to start ordering and putting together the video for The Restaurant Show in October.

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Mentor Day

This was held at Unilever’s offices in Leatherhead.  It consisted of a combination of photography and video with some new additions.  The iconic group shots of the YNCOTY and NCOTY finalists together and with a selection of judges, such as Gary Jones, David Mulcahy and Mark Sargeant.  In addition, individual portraits of each of the finalists were taken. Then, a series of interviews with each of the finalists and their mentor, interviewed by Anna Herrington discussing their ‘basket of ingredients’.  Post Mentor day meant all the post-production of all the content ready for the press, The Restaurant Show and Social Media.  In addition videos in readiness for to supply the AV Company at Olympia as well as a Trailer video in the run up.

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YNCOTY Finals Day

The Restaurant Show kicks off with the YNCOTY finalists who prepare three dishes. Anna then hosted proceedings interacting with the finalists and judges, referring to videos from Mentor Day and their ‘basket of ingredients.’

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NCOTY Finals

There is such excitement and anticipation of the NCOTY final. The promo video was shown throughout the day on the large screen of the semi-finals and the stills portraits of each of the finalists.  This was also shown on smaller screens lower down.  Again Anna hosted the event, keeping things interactive and engaging.  Different from previous years, instead of judges photographing plated food on their phones to then discuss and confer with other judges, this year we took stills.   These were then printed moments after and attached to a wall for judges to view.  The outcome provided a consistency of judges all viewing the same image of each dish.

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NCOTY and YNCOTY Winners 2018!

Stills images of the winners and the runners-up for both YNCOTY and NCOTY, together with judges and the range of sponsors were taken.  Additionally, some video footage of the winners being revealed that will then be incorporated in the following years ‘call to action’ video.  Post-event, images needed to be prepped for press releases and publications.

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 Photography and Video Crew: Adrian Franklin, John Sheppard and Daniel Miles