Pub chef wins British BBQ Battle and opens fifth pub

By Jo Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

Finney impressed judges with his Mexican lamb dish
Finney impressed judges with his Mexican lamb dish

Related tags Grilling

Gareth Finney chef/director of five site pub company Ultimate Entertainment Services, has been crowned overall champion of competition the British BBQ Battle.

Finney, who represented his site the Albion Taverna in Faversham, Kent, in the contest, was one of eight finalists competing across four different hospitality categories.

He was one of two finalists in the pub and restaurant category, beating chef Danny Lucas of the Gordon Ramsay Group, before going on to win the overall competition for scoring the most points overall.

 Winning menu

Finalists had to create a three-course meal on a barbecue, which could be cooked within an hour. Each course also had to include one of sponsor AAK’s Lion sauces. The competition is organised by equipment supplier R H Hall.

Finney’s menu was a starter of Griggs scallops, chargrilled asparagus, chilli, coriander and roasted garlic butter with grilled thyme and anchovy flatbreads. His winning main was Mexican lamb and pudding was apple and mango grilled burritos with passion fruit and butterscotch sauce and vanilla and popping candy ice cream.

He plans to put the winning dishes on the menu at Shepherd Neame tenancy the Albion Taverna, which is a Mexican & English Cookhouse.

Finney said: “I was really shocked to win. The standard of dishes and calibre of chefs taking part was very high. I am really thrilled.”

Judges included Ben Bartlett, president of the British BBQ Association.

Last year’s winner was Carol Haime, development chef for Shepherd Neame.

Fifth site opens this week

Ultimate Entertainment Services, of which Finney is a joint director with Daniel Sidders, is opening fifth site the Limes in Faversham on Friday(29 May). The pair have invested £75k refurbishing the Limes, previously known as the Chimney Boy, which will feature an indoor BBQ with a menu offering dishes such as locally sourced BBQ meats including Kentish rack of ribs, burgers, steaks and chargrilled lobster. It will also offer real ales and cocktails.

Shepherd Neame partnership

All the company’s sites are Shepherd Neame tenancies and this is its second in Faversham, where the brewery is also based. The other three sites are in Canterbury. The pubs are run through a managed model.

The Albion Taverna, which was the company’s first site, opened nine years ago. It is one of two sites to focus on Mexican food. Ye Olde Beverlie in Canterbury is also a Mexican & English Grill House.

Wine bar

The company’s last site to open was the Shakespeare in Canterbury in September 2013. A wine bar and coffee shop was added to the site in December of the same year. The company also runs The Parrot in Canterbury.

BBQ Week

This week is National BBQ Week with a range of events and promotions being held in pubs and shops around the UK.

Related topics Chefs

Related news