South West Chef of the Year announces 2017 finalists

This year’s South West Chef of the Year competition continues to pick up the pace with the announcement of its 2017 finalists following closely-contested semi-finals on Saturday. Now in its 14th year, South West Chef of the Year champions the very best of the region’s professional chefs and junior and home cooks as well as its exceptional produce for which the peninsular has gained a worldwide reputation.

Places in the competition are much coveted with chefs and culinary enthusiasts from 11 years up entering for their chance to cook for the panel of highly regarded regional chefs including Michael Caines MBE of luxury country house hotel Lympstone Manor.

Of the level of skill displayed during the competition, Michael said: “South West Chef of the Year is hotly contested and I and my fellow judges are always impressed with the skill and flair demonstrated by those who enter. The competition aims to be nurturing and supportive whilst challenging chefs to grow and learn from each round. I can’t wait for the finals and to taste what I know will be some fantastic food from the South West’s next generation of culinary talent.”

Michael is joined by other award winning chefs, Michael Wignall of Gidleigh Park winner of 5 AA Rosettes and  Chris and James Tanner of Barbican Kitchen and Kentish Hare to mention but a few. The competition is renowned for its aim to champion professional cooking as a rewarding and exciting career choice as well as the skill of home cooks in the region.

Finalists in the Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice Chef categories will now go through to their grand final on Wednesday 25th October at Exeter College while Junior and Home Cooks will battle it out at Ashburton Cookery School on Saturday 14th October.

The competition culminates with a glittering awards presentation evening and a sumptuous dinner held at Exeter Golf and Country Club on Wednesday 25th October. Tickets to this event are available to all. Guests will enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by three highly acclaimed and award winning chefs: Michael Caines MBE; Jamie Coleman, Head Chef at The Masons Arms, Knowstone who won South West Chef of the Year 2016 and James Mason, Head Chef at Kentisbury Grange and winner of South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2015. The evening will start with a drinks reception with canapés followed by a three-course meal with wines for each course. The evening will conclude with the announcement of the winners of South West Chef of the Year 2017. Tickets can be purchased online at just £85 each.

SW Chef of the Year competition 2017_Claire Andrew

This year’s finalists:

Professional Category Finalists

Sponsored by Ritter Courivaud

  • Martin Blake, Senior Sous Chef, The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
  • James Checkley, Sous Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Robert Cox, Head Chef, Tudor Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant, Clearwell, Gloucestershire
  • David Mann, Sous Chef, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

Young Professional Category Finalists

Sponsored by Lympstone Manor and Michael Caines MBE

  • Claire Andrew, Commis Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Harrison Brockington, Chef de Partie, Grosvenor Hotel, Torquay, Devon
  • Joshua Murphy, Demi Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Paul Wearing, Senior Chef de Partie, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

Student/Apprentice Chef Category

Sponsored by Nisbets

  • John Brimicombe, Exeter College and Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon
  • Katie Endicott, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Somerset
  • William Hamzij, Exeter College and Driftwood Hotel, Porscatho, Cornwall
  • Ford Thanyapat Khwanyuen, Truro and Penwith College, Cornwall
  • Eleanor Thuell, Exeter College and Rodean Restaurant, Kenton, Devon

Home Cook Category Finalists

Sponsored by Ashburton Cookery School

  • Andrew Callaghan, Verwood, Dorset
  • Lucinda Ellicott, Paignton, Devon
  • Emy Mordue, Exeter, Devon (Devon Life Home Cook 2016)
  • Kelly Shannon, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire
  • Sue Stoneman, Exmouth, Devon

Junior Chef Category Finalists

  • Cornwall

Anna West, Penair School, Truro

Anna will be mentored by Stephane Delourme at The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

  • Devon

Samantha Taylor-Clarke, Stover School, Newton Abbot

Samantha will be mentored by Mark Dodson at The Masons Arms, Knowstone

  • Dorset

Emily Henson, Bournemouth School for Girls

Emily will be mentored by Brett Sutton at The White Post, Rimpton

  • Gloucestershire

Amber Clay, Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury

Amber will be mentored by Gus Ashenford at Restaurant 5 North Street, Winchcombe

  • Somerset

Munopa Nhete, Queen’s College, Taunton

Munopa will be mentored by Liam Finnegan at The Castle Hotel, Taunton

  • Wiltshire

Vikki Pearcey Thorn, Lavington School, Market Lavington

Vikki will be mentored by Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park

Dates

  • Junior and Home Cook categories finals: Saturday 14th October
  • Professional and Student categories finals: Wednesday 25th October
  • Awards Presentation Evening: Wednesday 25th October
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Trill Farm opens its doors for 2015 with an inspiring programme of courses and talks to get you thinking, learning and eating!

Do you want to get your mind and body kick started this New Year? Trill Farm opens its doors for 2015 with an inspiring programme of courses and talks to get you thinking, learning and eating!

Trill Farm, near Axminster, is the brain child of Dr Romy Fraser OBE, the founder of Neal’s Yard Remedies. Set up in 2008, the 300 acre organic farm has become an exercise in creative thinking and living. Cattle and sheep farmers, market gardeners, carpenters, chefs and natural skin-product makers all share the farm and a common ethos; using the land and all it affords in a way that provides a living for its workers, a resource for the local community to use and benefit from and, most importantly, causes minimum impact to the natural resources that sustain the whole enterprise.

The farm also hosts the Trill Trust, an education charity that uses the beautiful habitats and wildlife on the farm, and takes advantage of the expertise and knowledge of those working on it, to inspire and engage others to think and learn about their own relationship with the natural environment and what it means to the them. The Trust organises a series of talks, events and family camps throughout the year and has just employed a new Director of Education, Jolyon Chesworth, who says “Trill farm is such an inspiring place, the rivers, ponds, woods and meadows are teeming with wildlife and I’m really looking forward to exploring it all, showing people around and helping to put on a diverse programme of activities with something for everyone; from those who want their first experience sleeping under the stars and watching badgers; to people who want to understand what grows around them and how it can be used to make delicious foods and herbal remedies.”

The Trill Trust has just released the first of its planned activities, with courses on everything from carpentry, where you can build your own table, to willow weaving and basket making, herbal remedies and homeopathy, bee keeping, foraging and cooking, including our upcoming course on marmalade making, led by the renowned ‘Pam the Jam’.

Jolyon continues:

“One of the things I’m most looking forward to are our monthly Supper and Conversations, these evening events include thought provoking talks from national experts on a whole variety of subjects. On January 30th we have Pat Thomas, an author, journalist and campaigner, giving her views on GM foods and how they may be creeping on to your supermarket shelves, and what it means for our environment and our health. These talks provide food for thought whilst our resident chef provides delicious organic food for us to eat, as we cogitate and discuss the important issues facing ourselves and our countryside.”

“All of our walks, talks and events are listed on our website at www.trillfarm.co.uk and more will be added as the year progresses. We are particularly keen to continue to develop our links with our neighbours, including local schools and colleges. Im really looking forward to helping develop Trill as a community asset, where people can come and experience the best our countryside has to offer through sharing, learning, eating and simply taking pleasure in being outside in the fields and woods, what better way to start 2015.”

Knowing your cuts of meat! Useful infographic to cut out and keep, or download.

Knowing your cuts of meat

Knowing your cuts of meat is the sign of a true foody.  But how many times have you been caught out when your meat knowledge fails? Cuts of meat are the thing I have a hard time memorising.  So here is a helpful cheat sheet to keep you in the know.