Pub operators celebrate success in Development Chef Awards 2015

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Tasty:  A dish by Best Pub Group Chef, Seafood Pub Co's Anthony Shirley
Tasty: A dish by Best Pub Group Chef, Seafood Pub Co's Anthony Shirley

Related tags Restaurant Chef

Five pub companies have been recognised for the quality of their food offers in Restaurant's Farm Frites Development Chef Awards 2015.

The awards were presented at the Farm Frites Development Chef Club at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, London, organised by PMA sister title Restaurant​ magazine.


Bath Ales’ Graze concept won the Best Restaurant Menu category and St Austell Brewery won Best Pub Menu (3-20 sites).

Greene King won Best Pub Menu (21+ sites) for its premium high street division.

Whiting & Hammond scooped the Best New Dish category for a corned beef hash dish and Anthony Shirley, executive chef of the Seafood Pub Company, was named as Best Pub Group Chef. The company won Best Food Offer (2 to 50 sites) in the Publican Awards 2015 earlier this month.

Restaurant Magazine ​editor Stefan Chomka said: “It’s impressive to see more and more pubs stepping up their food offer over the last year – each award was well deserved.”

Driving innovation

The event also saw operators gather for an afternoon of talks including from Nestlé Professional chef consultant Andrej Prokes and Allegra Foodservice executive director Simon Stenning.

Attendees also enjoyed cooking demonstrations by Nick Beardshaw, head chef at Tom Kerridge’s site the Coach, Marlow, Anthony Bennett, executive chef of La Tasca restaurants and Tony Kitous, founder of Comptoir Libanais.

Pub market growth

Simon Stenning, executive director at Allegra Foodservice, spoke on trends and forecasts for the eating out sector at the summit.

He said: “This is the first time in seven or eight years that you will see a piece of market analysis forecasting growth for the pub industry this year and in years to come. We now as consumers have a plethora of choices and our repertoires are growing broader still.”

He claimed that despite worries about the effect of potential deflation, the sector would still see continuing growth due to the better state of the economy allowing for more eating out.

“Pubs are realising what they can do well and how to do things better for customers – the pub is very close to our hearts as British consumers. It’s about doing things a little bit differently and recognising what consumers want,” he added.

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