There were two categories in the competition, over 25 years old, who would become the overall winner, and the under 25s. Joseph won the 25 years old and over category thus taking the title of Chef of the Year, cooking a three-course menu and Clayton Baker, Head Chef of The Links Tavern in Liphook, won the under 25 years category with a two-course menu.
Joseph and Baker were crowned victorious following a final cook-off, where they went head to head against other Fuller’s Chefs in both categories. They were challenged with designing a menu using the following seasonal ingredients: asparagus, turbot and strawberries.
The final cook-off took place at the Fuller’s Inns Conference held at Laverstoke Park Farm. It was judged by Michelin-Starred Chef Pierre Koffmann, Fuller’s Director Richard Fuller, 2016’s Chef of the Year Gavin Sinden, BBPA’s Josh Green, and food critic David Williams.
The prize for both winners is a trip to New York, where they will get the chance to work with top chefs.
Paul Dickinson, Fuller’s Director of Food, said: “I am absolutely thrilled for Johnny and Clayton. They are both worthy winners and I am excited about their future with us which will inspire the rest of our chefs to rise to the challenge for 2018.
“Competition was high and the judges were looking at the chefs’ skills and methodology in their cooking, but also at the balance of their menus, the presentation, the flavours, and the execution of the ingredients.
“This competition raises the profile of food in Fuller’s. It is an important driver for our business around upskilling our talent and it is brilliant that we can recognise the very best chefs in our team in order to secure long term success.”