Fuller’s Chef of the Year 2018

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Champions: (l-r) Luke Guthrie, Andy Bunting (both from Wykeham Arms) in Winchester, Hampshire and Amber Barnes from the King's Head in Wickham, Hampshire
Champions: (l-r) Luke Guthrie, Andy Bunting (both from Wykeham Arms) in Winchester, Hampshire and Amber Barnes from the King's Head in Wickham, Hampshire
A pub chef from a Hampshire pub has taken the title of Fuller’s Chef of the Year 2018.

Andy Bunting, sous chef at the Wykeham Arms in Winchester, won the overall title after cooking a three-course menu, working with his restaurant supervisor to cook and serve customers.

Amber Barnes, sous chef of the King’s Head in Wickham, Fareham, Hampshire, was crowned Junior Chef of the Year with two courses.

Luke Guthrie from the Wykeham Arms won the Restaurant Service Award, which was judged by Nick and Roz Parkinson from the Royal Oak Paley Street, near Maidenhead in Berkshire.

Final cook off

Bunting’s winning menu:

Starter: south coast scallop ceviche with cucumber, apple and chilli

Main course: Romsey white Texel lamb loin with English asparagus, morels and mint jus

Pudding: lemon flan with shortbread and raspberry textures

Bunting and Barnes were crowned the winners following a final cook-off at the Fuller's Inns Conference at Fuller’s Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, west London, in which they went head to head against other Fuller’s chefs in both categories.

They had to design a menu using seasonal ingredients including a starter of scallops, main course of lamb (two cuts) and a pudding with raspberry and lemon.

The cook-off was judged by Michelin-starred chefs Russell Brown and Pierre Koffmann, British Beer & Pub Association public affairs manager Josh Green, butcher William Owton, Roux scholar Matthew Tomkinson and food blogger David William.

Exceeded the challenge

Barnes’ winning menu:

Main course: Romsey white Texel lamb cutlet with chicken and tarragon mousse, broad beans, mint and fondant potato

Pudding: lemon and raspberry cheesecake

Fuller’s director of food Paul Dickinson said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed for Bunting and Barnes.

“They both exceeded the challenge set to all those who entered, with great innovation, skill and creative approach, simply perfectly executed on the day for the judge and customers.

“I am excited about their future with us, which will inspire the rest of our chefs to rise to the challenge for 2019.

“Competition was high and the judges were looking at the chefs’ skills and methodology in their cooking but also at the balance of their menus, the presentation, the flavours and the execution of the ingredients.

“This competition raises the profile of food and our chef’s in Fuller’s. It is an important driver for our business around upskilling our talent and it is brilliant we can recognise the very best chefs in our team in order to secure long-term success.”

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