The winner of this year’s South West Chef of the Year competition has been announced at a special awards ceremony at Exeter Golf and Country Club. Finalists faced their biggest challenge to date by designing and cooking a menu for some of the South West’s most notorious chef judges at Exeter College.
The 2019 overall winner of South West Chef of the Year was awarded to Edward Marsh, Sous Chef at the Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe. To compete for the title, finalists had to cook a three-course menu using a surprise box of ingredients presented to them just 30 minutes before and a compulsory protein they were informed about one week before. Edward’s winning dish included pan fried red mullet, confit fennel with pickled Romanesco.
In addition to the overall winner, each category had its own star chef.
The 2019 category winners are:
Professional Category (sponsored by Ritter Courivaud) – Edward Marsh, Sous Chef, The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe
Young Professional Category (sponsored by Essential Cuisine) – Jamaar Semper-House, Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath
Student/Apprentice Chef Category (sponsored by Nisbets Catering Equipment) – Rosie Nevill, Exeter College
Home Cook Category (sponsored by Ashburton Cookery School) – Marie-Joelle West, Exeter, Devon
Junior Category (Sponsored by Michael Caines MBE and Lympstone Manor) – Munopa, Queen’s College, Taunton.
Other awards presented on the evening were awarded as follows:
Best Dish (sponsored by Salt Media) – Rosie Nevill, Exeter College
Best Menu (sponsored by West Country Beef and Lamb) – Edward Marsh, The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe
Best Presentation – Josh Ambridge, Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire (Young Professional finalist)
Best Showcase of Regional Ingredients – Katriona Watson, Launceston, Cornwall (Home Cook finalist)
The Home Cook and Junior categories had their own cook- off challenge. Home Cooks were asked to prepare a two-course meal and dessert and the Juniors were asked to prepare a main course dish. Both categories were judged at Ashburton Cookery School on the 5th October.
Chefs judging the competition finals include Michael Caines (Lympstone Manor); Paul Ainsworth (Number 6 and Rojano’s in the Square), Chris and James Tanner (Barbican Kitchen and Kentish Hare), Elly Wentworth (The Angel), Niall Keating (Whatley Manor), Scott Paton (The Horn of Plenty), Michael Nizzero (The Bath Priory), Liam Fennegan (Castle Bow), Neil Haydock (Watergate Bay Hotel)and Darrin Hosegrove (Ashburton Cookery School).
South West Chef of the Year Co-founder and head judge Michael Caines MBE said: “The South West Chef of the Year is about celebrating what the West Country can produce, in terms of both talent and food. Over the past few months we’ve seen such an array of talent and passion in the kitchen. All the judges have been extremely impressed with the skills and creativity the competitors have demonstrated. It’s great to see that, as the competition develops each year, so does the standard of culinary talent, particularly with those as young as 11 who create a dish by themselves all the way to our most experienced chefs, who can produce an entire menu with 30 minutes notice. Well done to all who took part in this year’s south West Chef of the Year Awards.”
2019 South West Chef of the Year winner Edward Marsh said: “Taking part in South West Chef of the Year has been a brilliant experience and I am so happy to have won. I think for me one of the biggest challenges was taking part in a competition in the South West and trying to impress the judges so close to home, it really means a lot to me.”