Merrett to judge Pub Chef Awards

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Merrett owns three London-based pubs
Merrett owns three London-based pubs

Related tags: Award, Bbpa

Paul Merrett, the owner of three top London food pubs, will judge the British Beer and Pub Association’s (BBPA) Pub Chef of the Year Award, with the help of a panel of industry experts.

The award, which was launched by the BBPA and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group earlier this month, is being run in partnership with Nestlé Professional and aims to reward passionate​ chefs.

Merrett, who owns the Victoria in Sheen, the Malthouse in Fulham, and the Fox and Grapes in Wimbledon, said: “In my former life as a West End fine-dining chef, being twice awarded a Michelin star was most definitely the highlight of my career, but for the last half dozen years or so I have loved running my own pub.

“High quality food and produce remains key to our success but the pub environment allows for a far more relaxed and friendly vibe – for the customers and for the staff too. Like all good businesses I rely on having a great team of people around me. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing young people come into my kitchen with limited experience yet full of enthusiasm and energy and watching them develop into really talented chefs that have the ability to create fantastic food for our guests.”

Billions of meals a year are served by pubs, which is increasing as more pubs focussed on serving high quality food to attract customers.

‘Vital to the local economy’

“Pubs are also vital to the local economy in every part of the country, offering valuable and flexible employment,” the BBPA said.

The winner of the Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year Award will be announced early next year. Entrants to the awards are currently being put forward by local Members of Parliament.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “This is a great initiative to showcase to the government the skills and attributes of the people who are behind the scenes, contributing to the success of the local pub.

“If you have not done so already, please contact your local MP and ask them to get on board and to nominate one of your outstanding pub chefs.”

It is expected the industry will need to recruit 11,000 chefs by 2022, according to recent statistics.

The Publican’s Morning Advertiser ​will be hosting a roundtable to discuss the chef shortage next month. Keep reading for more about the roundtable, as well as updates from the event.

Top 50 Gastropubs 2016

Meanwhile, you can still enter the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs Awards, which will take place on 25 January 2016.

Three categories are open to entry for all food-serving pubs and include Business Innovation of the Year; Front of House Manager of the Year; and Newcomer of the Year.

The awards will be announced at a lunch on the same day the Top 50 Gastropubs 2016 will be revealed.

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