Ray Brenner, head chef of Peach Pub Company site the Chequers, in Everly Cross, Hampshire, Scott Fairweather, head chef of the Punch Bowl Inn, Cumbria and Charles “Gordon” Stott, head chef and landlord at the Sun Inn, in Basingstoke are competing in the Pub Restaurant Chef category.
Stott, 24, who took the reins of the Sun Inn at age 20, said: “It’s absolutely amazing – I can’t believe it. I’ve come second in quite a few competitions so let’s hope this time I can make first.”
Winners of the awards, which are aimed at celebrating the best of the UK chef industry, will be announced at a ceremony at the Hilton on Park Lane, London, on Monday 15 June.
Steve Munkley, vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: "For this year's judging panel we brought together over 350 years of experience - three hours later and after copious cups of coffee, the experts had come to their decisions and the announcements were made for the shortlist of nominees with only the experts knowing the results from their categories.
"It had been another tough year - great discussion and debate after some really strong nominations."
Cross is boss
Adam Bennett, head chef of Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropubs-ranking leasehold the Cross, in Kenilworth, is also competing in the Competition Chef category.
This January Bennett led Team UK in the annual ‘culinary Olympics’ - the Bocuse d’Or competition, which took place in Lyon, France.
But despite coming in tenth place and not ending up on the podium, Bennett said he ‘loved every minute’ of the competition despite its difficulty.