Fuller's City chefs dish it out

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Chefs from some of London brewer Fuller's flagship pubs have been put through their paces with a contest to develop a signature dish.More than 25...

Chefs from some of London brewer Fuller's flagship pubs have been put through their paces with a contest to develop a signature dish.

More than 25 entries from pubs across London were whittled down to six finalists by Fuller's operations managers, before a panel of external judges met at the Vintry, in the City, to taste each and select a winner.

Each dish was judged on criteria including presentation, taste and flavour balance, with bonus points for food with a female-friendly feel.

The overall winner was Sebastian Maciejewski, chef at the Pilot, Chiswick. His dish, braised rabbit leg in red wine jus with tagliatelle, wild mushrooms and caramelised baby onions, was a clear winner with each judge despite the very strong field of contenders.

The three judges were Miranda French, director of recruitment with Portfolio International, gastro pub operator Jamie Purdon, and John Porter, pub food editor of The Publican​.

John said: "This was the second year I've kindly been invited by Fuller's to take part in judging the City pubs Signature Dish challenge, and the standard this year was even higher.

"Sebastian's dish has a rustic, real pub food feel, with a simple presentation and a great balance of flavours."

The first prize is £1,000 for Sebastian, and a framed meat cleaver making his triumph which will be on display at the Pilot for the next year.

The other finalists and their dishes were:

  • Benoit Berenger, the Crown, Islington: 10 hours confit pork belly, pan-fried carrots, radiccio and apple with onion, sage cream.
  • Brahim Saber, the Fence, Smithfield: Pan-fried John Dory with bouillabaisse sauce, fennel heart and saffron potatoes
  • Stuart Dring, Fine Line - Monument: Pork cutlet, black pudding, honey glazed carrots and prune jus
  • Jean Marc Herve, Grand Union, Westbourne Park: Pan-fried tiger prawns with vegetables julienne and tagliatelle served with orange fish bisque.
  • Alex Grant, Mason's Arms, Battersea: Rump of lamb in an herb crust with fried chorizo, rocket and Puy lentils

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