The first round of judging will take place on 8th December when judges, Paul Dickinson, Director of Food at Fuller’s, Andrej Prokes, Executive Chef at Nestlé Professional and Dawn Redman, Director at Hospitality Jobs UK together with acclaimed TV chef Paul Merrett, will review and assess the entries. They will create a shortlist of talented chefs who will be invited to the cook-off in London on the 24th of January. Finalists will then attend the national awards ceremony that takes place at the House of Commons in February.
The finalists will be judged against a number of criteria: technical skills demonstrated against a sample recipe; the demonstration of use of local and seasonal ingredients and details of the role food plays within their pub.
The competition, developed by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) in conjunction with Nestlé Professional and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, seeks to recognise the importance of the role pub chef’s play within their local communities and the contribution they help to make to the business and the local economy. “As the eating out market continues to grow there is an ever increasing demand for talented young and highly experienced chefs. The competition puts the spotlight on those who create a fantastic variety of cuisine for customers to enjoy,” said Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA.
Paul Merrett said: “We have so many fantastic pubs offering great food in this country – in my view the pub is the perfect place for an ambitious chef to strut their stuff. I was so impressed with the standard at last year’s inaugural awards and I’m sure this year’s task of whittling down the 133 MP nominated entries to just a handful of lucky chefs who make it to the cook off in January will be just as tough. After reading some of the MP’s quotes about their nominees it really does go to show just how valuable pubs and pub chefs have become to communities across the UK and that it has most definitely become very much a career for the talented and creative.”
George Vezza, Managing Director of Nestlé Professional added: “It is great to see the volume of nominations for pub chefs coming in from our MPs. The British pub scene is a fantastic and dynamic area for talented chefs to showcase their creativity. I strongly believe this competition can be a springboard to many new opportunities within the pub sector and I wish all nominated chefs the very best.”