The first-round judging will take place this Friday (8 December) where judges including Fuller’s director of food Paul Dickinson, Nestlé Professional executive chef Andrej Prokes and Hospitality Jobs UK director Dawn Redman alongside TV chef Paul Merrett will review and assess entries.
The panel will create a shortlist of chefs who will be invited to a cook off in London on 24 January. Finalists will then attend the national awards ceremony that takes place at the House of Commons in February.
The competition has two categories – Pub Chef and Young Pub Chef of the Year. The finalists will be judged for technical skills demonstrated against a sample recipe, the demonstration of use of local and seasonal ingredients, and details of the role food plays within their pub.
The competition has been developed by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) in conjunction with Nestlé Professional and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group.
It aims to recognise the importance of the role pub chefs play within their local communities and the contribution they help to make to the business and local economy.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “As the eating out market continues to grow there is an ever-increasing demand for talented young and highly experienced chefs.
“The competition puts the spotlight on those who create a fantastic variety of cuisine for customers to enjoy.”
Chef Paul Merrett said: “We have so many fantastic pubs offering great food in this country – in my view the pub is the perfect place for an ambitious chef to strut their stuff.
“I was so impressed with the standard at last year’s inaugural awards and I am sure this year’s task of whittling down the 133 MP nominated entries to just a handful of lucky chefs who make it to the cook off in January will be just as tough."
He added: “After reading some of the MPs’ quotes about their nominees it really does go to show just how valuable pubs and pub chefs have become to communities across the UK. It has most definitely become very much a career for the talented and creative.”
Nestlé Professional managing director George Vezza praised the number of entries in the competition and wished entrants the best.
He said: “It is great to see the volume of nominations for pub chefs coming in from our MPs.
“The British pub scene is a fantastic and dynamic area for talented chefs to showcase their creativity. I strongly believe this competition can be a springboard to many new opportunities within the pub sector and I wish all nominated chefs the very best.”