BaxterStorey has announced the winners of its third annual Heritage Chef of the Year Awards with winners from across both UK and Ireland locations celebrated.
Launched in 2015, the competition showcases our passion for fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce. This year’s final held at Electrolux, Luton, saw 13 of our most talented chefs compete across four categories; Young Chef of the Year, Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year and Chef Manager of the Year.
Following a series of demanding regional heats with 45 semi-finalists, the finalists were challenged to create two dishes within just 90 minutes. Our expert judges awarded top marks to those showcasing the best of locally sourced produce, skill, innovation and presentation.
Young Chef of the Year
Stephen Selwood, based in the South East, took the title of Young Chef of the Year. His dish of Newlyn’s Farm grilled pork chuck steak, sourced just 25 miles from his location in Reading, impressed the judges describing his main course as “beautifully cooked and well-seasoned”.
Chef of the Year
Irish-based Claire Rodden was awarded Chef of the Year in an incredibly tight category. With the judges praising her “fantastic organisation skills”, Claire’s dessert of baked yoghurt, AIB honey, elderflower, pickled apple and honeycomb was inspired by one of Ireland’s best products – dairy! The honey in the dish originated from the building in which she works, from one of seven hives, housing around 60,000 bees.
Pastry Chef of the Year
Pastry Chef of the Year was won by Sam Parsons, based in the South West. His beautifully simple dish of spiced plum and yoghurt ice cream was described as having “fantastic solid flavours” by the judges, and showcased the very best of fresh, seasonal produce from his region.
Chef Manager of the Year
Oxford-based Sean Campbell took the title of Chef Manager of the Year with a local lamb dish, complimented perfectly with heritage pumpkin and pickled golden beets. The judges were extremely impressed with the “excellent flavour balance and extra refinement with the presentation”.
Matt Hay, BaxterStorey Group Chef Director and judge, said: “This competition is about great chefs showcasing their skills and techniques to make exceptional dishes, using all locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. We are proud to have such talented and passionate people in our business, and Heritage Chef is a great opportunity for us to recognise them, as shown by this year’s very deserving winners.”
The winners were awarded state of the art AEG Gourmet pro food processors by Electrolux, Mac Chef Knives and dinner for two. Huge thanks goes all of our sponsors for their support including our Chef Academy and Barista Academy. And also to our chef judges for their expertise and feedback to all of our exceptional finalists.