Game Chef of the Year Final 2016
26 January 2016


Lorna McNee, Junior Sous Chef of Andrew Fairlie, was today crowned Game Chef of the Year following a cook off with nine other chefs from across the UK.

 GCOY Winner Trophy

The competition organised by Scottish game processor Braehead Foods has been running for the last five years, and each year the level of applicants keeps getting higher. The search to find the UK's best professional game chef began in August with entries flooding in from all over the UK. Applicants were required to submit two game based dishes, one starter and one main course with the judges looking for fresh, innovative dishes. This year judges noted that contestant's dishes were very 'on trend', hinting to a new depth to game cuisine.

 GCOY finalists

The competition came to an end yesterday, Monday 25th January, when Ms McNee was crowned the first woman to win Game Chef of the Year. Not only has the competition experienced its first female leader but also it's first female applicants, with two making there way to the final. Adam Thomason of Restaurant Associations and Andrew D'Amery of Delaware North Wembley Stadium, both from London finished joint runners up in the competition.

All finalists

All 10 finalists each received £100 and had the chance to prepare, cook and present two game based dishes to the panel of judges; Braehead Foods Consultant Chef Paul Gayler MBE, Braehead Foods Executive Chef Joe Queen and Ian McAndrew of the Academy of Culinary Arts. This year's winner, Lorna, has won a once in a lifetime trip to Sweden where she will hunt wild boar, courtesy of Highland Game, as well as three MAC knives courtesy of Continental Chef Supplies.

GCOY Judges deliberate

Lorna McNee has been working at Andrew Fairlie Gleneagles for seven years now, and it was Andrew and Stephen McLaughlin (Head Chef) themselves who encouraged Lorna to enter the competition. Lorna said 'the reason I entered was to push and challenge myself into places I wouldn't usually go and come out my comfort zone. That's why competitions like this are important to be present in Scotland as well as England.'     



Lorna's starter was roast teal, salad of beetroot, apple, mushroom and warm vinaigrette. For her main course she prepared blue mountain hare, smoked game farce and spiced red cabbage. Paul Gayler noted that Lorna's 'menu was well balanced, creative and professionally executed - a winning formula.'

Main Course


Paul Gayler further commented that 'this was one of the hardest competitions in recent years, causing many a debate in the judging room. Winning scores were collated with a mere point between them at times; all competitors should be extremely proud of their work and we hope to see you back next year.'


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If you're interested in applying for Game Chef of the Year 2017, please click here and we will keep you up to date.