Pubs lead the way, says celebrity chef

Related tags Pub food awards Publican pub food Smoking ban

Pub food is the future, according to celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson.Speaking at The Publican Pub Food Awards ceremony last week Mr Worrall...

Pub food is the future, according to celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson.

Speaking at The Publican Pub Food Awards ceremony last week Mr Worrall Thompson, who has recently bought a pub, told the audience that he believed pubs were flying the flag for great British food.

"Pub food is the way forward," he told the 500 award guests at Westminster's Queen Elizabeth Centre.

He stressed the importance of using local ingredients, commending many of the award winners for their commitment to sourcing food from local suppliers.

"Local food is what it's all about," he said. "We should all source food locally."

Mr Worrall Thompson is patron of smokers' rights campaign group FOREST and is a passionate opponent of smoking bans. He told the awards audience that a smoking ban could be a disaster for the trade and said that no smoking areas, as recommended by the industry's Charter Group, was a far better alternative.

And he added that in his experience smokers spent more money than non-smokers. "In January, when everyone gives up smoking, my restaurant takings drop," he joked. "Smokers spend much more money - I don't know why."

Mr Worrall Thompson presented the 15 Publican Pub Food Awards to the deserving winners. They included Ellen Andrews, from the Inn at Farnborough, near Banbury, who picked up the award for Chef of the Year, and Paul Morgan whose pub, the Hampshire Arms, was named Pub of the Year.

Former Scottish & Newcastle brand Chef & Brewer, which was recently bought by Spirit Group, was named Retail Brand of the Year.

"I am delighted," commented senior brand manager Carolyn Sinclair. "Credit really must go to the managers of the 130 pubs who make it what it is." And operations director Mike Holton added: "Competition for this award is intense, which makes wininng extremely gratifying."

Spirit Group itself went away with two awards. It won Food Operator of the Year and its director of food and wine operations, Jason Danciger, was named Catering Innovator of the Year.

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Related topics Chefs

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