Sixteen chefs from some of the south west’s best restaurants have been chosen to go forward to the semi-finals of the Professional and Young Professional classes of the 2014 South West Chef of the Year competition.
An expert panel of chef judges, which included Michael Caines, James and Chris Tanner, Mark Hix, Paul Ainsworth, Peter Gorton, Matt Mason and Nathan Outlaw, made the selection.
Caines commented: “The standard of entries was exceptional this year with entrants putting a lot of thought into their chosen menus and creating dishes that really impressed the judges on paper. South West Chef of the Year is a prestigious award which is held in high regard by chefs and restaurateurs in the region. The line-up of semi-finalists reflects the importance within the industry of competing in, and winning, this award.”
The semi-finalists will cook their menus for the judging panel on October 11 at Exeter College where they will have 90 minutes to prepare their two-course menu for three people using two compulsory ingredients. The Professional class semi-finalists must include mackerel and lamb neck fillet, and the Young Professional semi-finalists are required to work with cod and Red Ruby rump tail.
Meat and fish will be supplied by local producers Pipers Farm and Kingfisher Brixham respectively, from which the semi-finalists’ diverse menus include cod ravioli, mackerel three ways and Ruby Red rump tartare.
Successful semi-finalists will return to the college for the final on October 27, when they will have to prepare a three-course meal using a mystery box of ingredients presented only 30 minutes before the competition.
The winners will be announced at an awards presentation dinner on October 27 at Exeter Golf & Country Club.
The semi-finalists are:
Professional class semi-finalists
Dale McIntosh, head chef, Merchants Manor, Falmouth, Cornwall
Stuart Brown, senior sous chef, Combe House Hotel, Gittisham, Devon
Greg Newman, Junior Sous Chef, Bovey Castle, Moretonhampstead, Devon
Mat Follas, chef patron, Restaurant Mat Follas, Dorchester, Dorset
Martin Blake, sous chef, Homewood Park Hotel, Bath, Somerset
Eddy Rains, head chef, The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay, Somerset
Craig Small, junior sous chef, Claytons Kitchen @ The Porter, Bath, Wiltshire
Dean Westcar, junior sous chef, Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
Reserve: Stephen Cole, junior sous chef, Victoria Inn, Salcombe, Devon
Young Professional class semi-finalists
Daniel Gambles, chef de partie, Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon
Joshua Martin, chef de partie, Bovey Castle, Moretonhampstead, Devon
Ravid Tripp, sous chef, Five Bells Inn, Clyst Hydon, Devon
Dan Adkin, demi chef de partie, Lucknam Park, Bath, Somerset
Alexander Brownrigg, demi chef de partie, Homewood Park Hotel, Bath, Somerset
John Godfrey, senior chef de partie, Castle Hotel, Taunton, Somerset
Thomas Westerland, demi chef de partie, Lucknam Park, Bath, Somerset
Elly Wentworth, chef de partie, Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
Reserve: Steffan Davies, commis chef, Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon
Amateur cooks have also been selected to go straight through to the final of the South West’s Best Dish class. These include last year’s winner Steve Ashworth from Taunton; Oonagh Eggerton from Salisbury; Alexandra Jenkins from Honiton; Benjamin Martin from Penryn, and Beverley Milner Simonds from Burnham on Sea.
The competition is now in its 11th year. Overall sponsor of the South West Chef of the Year Award is the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink, lead sponsor is Bidvest 3663, while class sponsors are: Professional Class – Ritter Courivaud and Ritter Fresh; Student Chef Class – Nisbets Catering Equipment; and South West’s Best Dish – Ashburton Cookery School.
For more information, visit www.southwestchef.co.uk