South West Chef Winners Announced Following Tense Final


Winners of this year’s South West Chef of the Year were announced last night at a glittering awards ceremony and dinner held at Exeter Golf & Country Club. The evening was hosted by competition co-founder Michael Caines MBE and his team of judges, each a top chef from the region, including Stephane Delourme of The Seafood Restaurant; Consultant Chef Peter Gorton; Matt Mason of Jack in the Green; Hywel Jones of Lucknam Park and Seth Ward of Bidvest Foodservice. The competition was also judged by Paul Ainsworth of Paul Ainsworth at Number 6; Neil Haydock of Watergate Bay Hotel; and Michael Wignall of Gidleigh Park who spoke highly of the skill and dedication of the entrants.

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The tense grand finals of the two professional classes and the student chef class took place during the day at Exeter College with chefs battling it out for first place in their category as well as the coveted South West Chef of the Year 2016 award. Entrants in the Home Cook and Junior categories, whose finals had taken place earlier in the month, joined competitors for the awards presentation and dinner to find out if they had won an award in this year’s competition.

The awards dinner comprised a feast with courses prepared by three top regional chefs: judge Hywel Jones, a Michelin-starred Executive Chef at Lucknam Park, Bath; Jamie Rogers, a previous winner of South West Chef of the Year (2015) and Head Chef at Belgrave Sands Hotel, Torquay and Scott Paton, also a previous winner of South West Young Professional Chef of the Year (2009) and Head Chef at Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plymouth. Hywel, Jamie and Scott were supported in the kitchen and front of house by students of the Michael Caines Academy.

Despite the competition being in its 13th year, the quality of cooking demonstrated by the entrants continued to surprise judges with its complexity and technical skill. Of the standard, Michael Caines said: “I have been delighted by the standard shown by the competitors. It’s not just about technical skill and the ability to put together mouth-watering flavours; we are also looking for innovation and flair together with the desire to really get behind locally sourced ingredients and give them the culinary treatment they deserve. I am passionate about our regional produce and have been really struck by the dedication our competitors have shown too.”

This year’s South West Chef of the Year was awarded to Jamie Coleman, Head Chef at Saunton Sands Hotel. 2016 was Jamie’s second entry to the competition, proving that perseverance pays. Of his experience and win Jamie said: “This means a lot; it’s my second time competing at South West Chef of the Year and it feels amazing to have won. The competition has provided me with excellent experience and feedback; I came to the heats this year feeling much more prepared. I knew the larder and the process; I knew what I needed to do. My plan now is to keep working hard and learning as well as entering competitions.”

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As well as the opportunity to win a prestigious and respected title for their CV, competitors also received invaluable feedback from the judges, each a highly respected chef in their own right. This year also saw the return of previous competitors seeking to repeat their experience and progress up through the categories.

| Winners of this year’s competition |

Best Use of Regional Produce: Sue Stoneman of Exmouth, Devon

Best Menu: Timothy Kendall, Chef de Partie at The Seafood Restaurant, Cornwall

Best Presentation: Jamie Coleman Head Chef at Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon

Best Dish: Shaun Cassidy Sous Chef at Jack in the Green, Devon

SW Junior Chef of the Year: Ethan Macdonald The Kings School, Ottery St Mary, Devon

South West Home Cook of the Year: Sue Stoneman of Exmouth, Devon

South West Student/Apprentice Chef of the Year: Harrison Brockington of Exeter College and Apprentice Chef at Dart Marina Hotel, Devon

South West Young Professional Chef of the Year: Timothy Kendall Chef de Partie at The Seafood Restaurant, Cornwall

South West Professional Chef of the Year: Jamie Coleman Head Chef at Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon

South West Chef of the Year: Jamie Coleman Head Chef at Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon

 

| Finalists of this year’s competition |

South West Professional Chef of the Year:

Martin Blake, Senior Sous Chef at Manor House Hotel, Wiltshire

Shaun Cassidy, Sous Chef at Jack in the Green, Devon

Joseph Fallowfield, Sous Chef at The Square, Cornwall

Magic Kijewski, Head Chef at Molecular Magic, Dorset

 

Young Professional category:

Joshua Martin, Junior Sous Chef at Deer Park Country House Hotel, Devon

Lily O’Donoghue, Commis Chef at Mount Somerset Hotel, Somerset

Jade Stephens, Chef de Partie at Lucknam Park, Bath

 

Student/Apprentice category:

Maia English, Apprentice Chef at The Elephant Restaurant, Devon

Sophie Kennard of Somerset College and Apprentice Chef at The Swan Inn, Devon

Lauren King, Apprentice Chef at The Horn of Plenty, Devon

 

Home Cook category:

Andrew Callaghan, Verwood, Dorset

Oonagh Egerton, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Beverley Milner Simonds, Burnham on Sea, Somerset

 

Junior category:

Abbie Brockway, Lytchett Minster School, Dorset

Ashley Gilder, Penrice Academy, St Austell, Cornwall

Ethan Macdonald, The Kings School, Ottery St Mary, Devon

Laura Phipps, Severnvale School, Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Daisy Taylor, Lavington School, Devizes, Wiltshire

 

For more info:

Website:                www.southwestchef.co.uk

Twitter:                  @SWChefComp

Facebook:             www.facebook.com/southwestchef

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Author: laurenheathpa

PA & Office Manager, Exeter PA Network member. Co-Editor & Food Writer for Eating Exeter, occasional Restaurant Reviewer for Crumbs Magazine Devon, major all round foodie. All my photography using the latest Samsung smartphone. Hospitality background, wife to The Lost Chef and mum to 1.

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