PubChef awards 2005 - Young pub chef cook-off

By Jo Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pub food Chef

Young pub chef cook-off
Young pub chef cook-off
The sixth category cook-off in the PubChef Awards recognised the talents of rising stars in pub food. Jo Bruce reports. The increase in quality in...

The sixth category cook-off in the PubChef Awards recognised the talents of rising stars in pub food. Jo Bruce reports.

The increase in quality in pub food has seen many young chefs now choosing pubs as a career option. PubChef's young pub chef category challenged our four finalists to show off their skill, passion and ambition. Chefs had to enter a main course dish and had one hour 15 minutes to prepare and create four of the same dish. All finalists had to be aged under 21 - three of the finalists are 19 and one is 17. Three of the finalists selected seafood for their dishes, the other, pork. And the ideas, skills and passion on show convinced the judges that the future of pub food is in safe hands.

The Finalists

Ross SutherlandAGE:​ 19 PUB:​ The Cock & Bull, Blairton, Balmedie, Scotland. DISH:​ Pan-fried salmon chunk, hot-smoked salmon risotto with roasted vine tomatoes; lime and wild asparagus butter sauce. ON PUB FOOD:"It should be qick to get to the customer, use fresh local produce and be at affordable prices."INSPIRED BY:​ The Cock & Bull's head chef Ryan Paterson. AMBITIONS:​ To run his own restaurant which would focus on seafood and game.

Tyrone Knight. AGE:​ 17 PUB:​ The Helyar Arms, East Coker, Somerset. DISH:​ Somerset pork loin with apricot mash and deep-fried onion rings. ON PUB FOOD:"Exciting, funky, refreshing."INSPIRED BY:​ The Helyar's head chef Mathieu Eke, Nigel Slater. AMBITIONS:​ To run his own restaurant with a focus on French cuisine.

Victoria Mansfield. AGE:​ 19 PUB:​ The Old Custom House, Padstow, Cornwall DISH:​ Noth Cornish cod fillet cassoulet. ON PUB FOOD:​"Fresh, seasonal and local." INSPIRED BY:"I am a big fan of Gary Rhodes dessert recipes."AMBITIONS:​ To run her own pub near the sea. "I love working with seafood."

Martin Major. AGE:​ 19 PUB:​ The Unicorn, Cublington, Buckinghamshire DISH:​ Prawn-crusted halibut. ON PUB FOOD:"Support local suppliers, give good value for money and satisfy all tastes."INSPIRED BY:​ Jamie Oliver. AMBITIONS:​ To travel the world exploring different food cultures and have his own.

This category's judges included ALEC HOWARD​, managing director of menu consultants the Food and Beverage Group, ANDREW PRING​, editor of the Morning Advertiser, EWAN VENTERS​, national accounts director of awards sponsor Brakes, and SUSAN NOWAK​, editor of the Camra guide Good Pub Food and Pub Super Chefs.

Said and done -

"He is the Wayne Rooney of the pub chef world."​ Morning Advertiser editor and PubChef judge ANDREW PRING​ on Tyrone's excellent performance during the cook-off "It's fantastic to see young people now considering pubs as a career option."​ Judge EWAN VENTERS​ of category sponsor Brakes "You're under-age so I'd better have that Champagne. You won't be getting a pay rise."MATHIEU EKE​, head chef at the Helyar Arms jokes with Tyrone as he is announced winner. "The chefs had a good grasp of the ingredients and really impressive technical skills."​ Judge EWAN VENTERS"She had a great attitude, superb understanding of her ingredients and was a real joy to talk to about food."​ Judge SUE NOWAK on chef Victoria Mansfield of the Old Custom House in Padstow, Cornwall. "Have you got any ID?,"​ PubChef Awards administrator SUE SELBY checking the ages of our under-21 competitors.

The winner

The youngest competitor in the PubChef Awards , 17, was named winner of the young pub chef category. Tyrone is commis chef at the Helyar Arms in East Coker, near Yeovil, Somerset, and impressed the judges with his dish of Somerset pork loin with apricot mash and deep-fried onion rings. He was described by one of the panel, Morning Advertiser editor Andrew Pring as a "Wayne Rooney of the pub food world"​. Tyrone says his main inspiration is the Helyar's head chef Mathieu Eke. "Every day I learn a different thing."​ Tyrone says. "I love being able to experiment with food. I am passionate about learning different skills."​ Tyrone was inspired to become a chef after working in a pub kitchen washing up. He also attends Yeovil College where he is studying for an NVQ level II in catering.

Of his winning dish, judge Alec Howard, managing director of the Food and Beverage Group, said: "You didn't want to put your knife and fork down. He had great judgment, great attitude and fantastic enthusiasm."​ Tyrone decided on his dish because he loves using pork and felt the flavours and textures of the dish complemented each other well, with the cider being something different to the traditional match of apple and pork. His suppliers include Loders Butchers in Yeovil, who source pork from Tatworth Farm in Chard, Somerset, the Fine Food Company in Wincanton, who provide the vegetables and the Torquay Brewery from where the cider came.

The judges also gave a special mention to Victoria Mansfield, chef de partie at the Old Custom House in Padstow, Cornwall. She was praised for her fantastic culinary knowledge and insight in to the provenance of the dish ingredients. Congratulations also to Martin and Ross for their contribution to a fantastic cook-off. As judge Ewan Venters of sponsor Brakes said: "All the chefs had an excellent grasp of their ingredients and impressive technical skills. It is fantastic to see young people like this now seeing pubs as a career option."

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