Young Chefs Competition 2011

The Grand Final of this year’s Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Chef Competition was described as ‘wholly inspirational’ as Garret Keown from The Bell Inn, Hordon on Hill, Essex took on 7 other finalists at London’s Westminster Kingsway on 17 March, and won the coveted title, of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Chef of the Year 2011.

Following the day’s judging, the winning line up was announced at an Awards Ceremony held at the flagship London Showroom of Awards Partner, Gaggenau.

Garret stunned the illustrious panel of judges with his outstanding creativity, flair and presentation skills.

The 8 competition finalists, all of whom were under the age of 27 and working in Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ establishments across the UK, were tasked with the ultimate challenge - to create a three course meal from a previously undisclosed market box of ingredients, in just 3 hours.

Each three course menu was judged on presentation, originality, and of course taste, with Garret’s ambitious menu of pan fried mackerel, cockles, shallot puree and beetroot to start, marinated duck breast, pomme puree, wild mushroom ravioli, butternut squash and chorizo sauce for the main course, followed by aromatic poached pear, dark chocolate rice pudding and hazelnut brittle for dessert, taking centre stage, with complex flavour combinations and exceptional execution. In an extremely close and tense competition, where emotions ran high, the runner up was Iain More of Swinton Park Hotel, Ripon with Thomas Bally of Hunstrete House, Bath, taking third place.

Similar to previous year’s contests, the 2011 competition was closely fought, with all competitors impressing as Chairman of Judges, Paul Gayler, comments, ‘The standard and competitiveness of the finalists was truly exceptional and I would like to pay them all tribute for what they have achieved. The sheer tenacity of our finalists continues to amaze and impress year after year, particularly when one considers the age and experience of those taking part.

‘Any competitive environment is daunting to the best of us, particularly with such an exceptional panel of judges to impress, however, all participants in this competition should be applauded for their poise and exceptional cooking skills under pressure. On behalf of all the judges, I would like to congratulate Garret and all other finalists, all of whom all displayed impressive flair and culinary knowledge. It was incredibly difficult for us to make a decision.’

Now in its 34th year, this competition, partnered by Gaggenau, aims to encourage and motivate the young chefs, currently working in Chaîne des Rôtisseurs establishments in Great Britain, and creates the platform for them to their demonstrate skills, creativity and cheff’ing talent. As Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué comments, ‘Competitions such as our Young Chef and Young Sommelier Awards are integral to encouraging the next generation of the hospitality industry.

‘We’re all too aware of the importance of talented and exceptional young chefs coming through the ranks, in keeping the British hospitality industry fresh, dynamic and successful. The young talent displayed in this competition was extremely impressive and if these competitors are indicative of the young chefs currently working in our restaurants, the future of our industry certainly looks bright.’

For more information about the Young Chefs Competition, please contact Vic Laws, Conseiller Culinaire:

Winner – Garret Keown from The Bell Inn, Hordon on Hill