Fuller, Smith & Turner, the London brewer and premium pub company, has today announced that Andy Bunting, Sous Chef of The Wykeham Arms, Winchester crowned the title of the Fuller’s Chef of the Year 2018.
There were two categories in the competition, Chef of the Year who became the overall winner and took the title and the Junior Chef of the Year. Bunting won the title of Chef of the Year, cooking a three-course menu, working with his restaurant supervisor to cook and serve for customers and Amber Barnes, Sous Chef of The King’s Head in Wickham, won the Junior Category with a two-course menu.
Luke Guthrie from The Wykeham Arms, Winchester won the Restaurant Service Award, which was judged by Roz and Nick Parkinson of the Royal Oak, Paley Street.
Bunting and Barnes were crowned victorious following a final cook-off, where they went head to head against other Fuller’s Chefs in both categories. They were challenged with designing a menu using the following seasonal ingredients: starter of scallops, main course of lamb (two cuts) and pudding with raspberry and lemon.
The final cook-off took place at the Fuller’s Inns Conference held at Fuller’s Griffin Brewery in Chiswick. It was judged by Michelin-Starred Chef Russell Brown, BBPA Public Affairs Manager Josh Green, Michelin-Starred Chef Pierre Koffmann, Butcher William Owton, Roux Scholar Mathew Tomkinson, and food blogger David William.
Bunting’s winning menu comprised:
Starter: South Coast scallop ceviche, cucumber, apple and chilli
Main Course: Romsey White Texel Lamb Loin, English asparagus, morels and mint jus
Pudding: Lemon flan, shortbread and raspberry textures
Barnes’ winning menu comprised:
Main Course: Romsey White Texel Lamb Cutlet, chicken and tarragon mousse, broad beans, mint and fondant potato
Pudding: lemon and raspberry cheesecake
Paul Dickinson, Fuller’s Director of Food, said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed for Andy and Amber. They are 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 judges 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 & our chefs in Fuller’s. It is an important driver for our business around upskilling our talent and it is brilliant that we can recognise the very best chefs in our team in order to secure long term success.”