Our chefs cook up a storm

It got hotter than usual in the kitchen as our chefs battled it out in the Chef of the Year final 2017.

The competition is a great way for chefs in our Destination pubs to showcase their flair for food, share ideas with other chefs across the business and learn new skills to inspire their teammates with.

After battling their way through the heats, our three finalists – Jim Davison from Pen-Y-Bont farm, Cori Mead from The Alders and Ross Boston from The Willows – went head-to-head in the kitchen for the final cook-off at our Talent Academy in Wolverhampton last month.

They cooked with imagination, flair and on-trend flavours, producing some of the best quality dishes the judges have ever seen in the competition.

It was a close one and a tough decision for our judges, but Cori cooked his way to the top with his stuffed chicken with paella style risotto, sweet potato fondant, roasted pan seared veg followed by deep fried oriental style puy lentil pattie with orange and caramelised onion and ginger chutney.

Cori received the prestigious trophy from Pete Dalzell, MD – MIT and Iain Jackson, Operations Director – Destination.

Watch the highlights from the day:


“It feels fantastic to win! It hasn’t settled in yet – the adrenalin is still going. I’m looking forward to a good year of seeing where this takes me and the opportunities that come my way as a result of it, and I do hope that anyone thinking of entering next year is going to think: wow, I’m going to give that a crack!”

Congratulations to all our chefs who took part this year. And special congratulations to our runners-up, Jim and Ross, and to Cori for taking the crown. *imbed picture of Cori*

Keep an eye out for an update when our semi-finalists visit River Cottage HQ in Devon in October.

If you dream of seeing your dish on our menus and think you’ve got what it takes, why not enter our Chef of the Year competition next year? Look out for more info in 2018.

Happy cooking 🙂

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