Brigid Simmons, chief executive of the BBPA, said the organisation was delighted that so many MPs had engaged with the competition.
“It is a testament to the quality of pub food today that so many chefs from all corners of the country have been put forward for this new award – I am looking forward to the next stage of the competition and ultimately to trying some of the excellent food on offer.”
Entries received are set to be judged by a panel of experts including chef Paul Merrett, with the winner to be crowned on Tuesday 23 February at a ceremony held at the House of Commons.
Pub chef Sam Smith, of the Rising Sun Country Pub & Dining in Scholar Green, Congleton, was nominated by MP Fiona Bruce.
He said: “It’s nice to get recognition for all the hard work and passion that we put into our food every day and it’s especially great to have been nominated by our local MP.”
The competition comes as the sector is widely accepted to be in a grip of a critical shortage of skilled chefs – an influx of over 11,000 new pub chefs will be needed by 2022 to keep the hospitality industry afloat, according to recent statistics.
The PMA recently held a round table discussion on the shortage, where industry experts were invited to discuss how best it could be fought.
Attendees said more positivity was needed in dealing with the problem and that the industry needed to show potential applicants that being a pub chef was in fact a career that offered considerable opportunities for development and prospects down the line.