Every year we run a competition across all of our pubs to crown creators of the best dishes. Each pub enters a junior chef and front of house partnership to represent them in our company wide competition to develop and reward our rising stars.
At the grand finals in September the teams of two are challenged with two rounds. The first stage begins with a tray of identical ingredients and an unseen spec for each team. They have 1½ hours to prep, cook and present the dish following the spec precisely. In true ‘Great British Bake Off’ style each team places their finished starter behind a card with their name, leaving our panel of judges, Tom, Mary and Mike to compare, contrast and then pick the top three.
The idea of this task is to show that consistency, accuracy and replication need to be cornerstones of our food offer.
The second task gives each team free range to choose from an amazing larder of ingredients: guinea fowls, rabbits, pork and venison loins, lobsters, whole fish, racks of lamb (too many things to mention).
Each team has 3 hours to devise a main course and a pudding using their imagination and creativity.
It’s fair to say that the 2023 finals brought with it a consistently high standard of cooking. It was especially pleasing to see how all the team’s balanced originality and innovation whilst keeping in mind our overall food style. Margins were very close, but Sutton Hall’s Steve and Cat were crowned this year’s overall winners.
All the finalists win a prize for their efforts and the winners are taken on a fantastic culinary experience.
We owe Cheshire South & West College huge thanks for hosting us fantastically well at their Ellesmere Port Campus and Royal Greenland for their kind sponsorship.