Finalists announced for 2019 South West Chef of the Year

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 10:08am

The finalists for this year’s South West Chef of the Year competition have been chosen and now face the final round where they will be cooking for judges on the 22nd October at Exeter College. 

The finalists in the Professional and Young Professional categories will cook a three-course menu using ingredients supplied by the competition’s sponsors. They are given only one week’s notice about the meat or fish they will be using and just 30 minutes for all the other ingredients.  The Student and Apprentice category and will prepare a two-course menu incorporating a compulsory protein ingredient.

The Home Cook category and Junior Chef category will be taking part in the finals on the 5thOctober at Ashburton Cookery School. Home cooks will prepare a two-course meal with a choice of chicken or sea bream and autumn fruits for dessert. The Junior Chef category will prepare the same dish they created at the county finals with any tweaks suggested by their chef mentor.

Chefs judging the three 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 2014, Elly Wentworth, who is now part of the judging panel, said, "The talent in this year's competiton is exceptional.  The team of judges across all categories has been blown away with the creativity and skills that these chefs have shown during the semi-finals and we can’t wait to see how they perform at the finals. It is exciting to see who goes on to win the awards among the home cooks, juniors and professional chefs and ultimately, of course, who will take the overall title of South West Chef of the Year 2019”.

The winners of each of the categories and the overall winner will be announced at a special celebration Awards evening at Exeter Golf and Country Club on Tuesday 22nd October. The Awards evening includes a unique three-course dinner prepared by three top chefs, all previous winners or judges of the competition; Elly Wentworth, Tim Kendall and Michael Nizzero. The Awards evening is open to anyone to attend, tickets are on sale at

Finalists in each of the categories are:

Professional Category Finalists

Sponsored by Ritter Courivaud

§  James Checkley, Head Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon

§  Joe Cotton, Sous Chef, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

§  Edward Marsh, Sous Chef, Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe, Wiltshire

§  Paul Wearing, Head Chef, The Springer Spaniel, Treburley, Cornwall

Young Professional Category Finalists

Sponsored by Essential Cuisine

§  Josh Ambridge, Senior Chef de Partie, Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire

§  John Brimicombe, Chef de Partie, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

§  Billy Pounsett-Smart, Chef de Partie, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon

§  Jordan Randerson, Chef de Partie, The Elephant, Torquay, Devon

§  Jamaar Semper-House, Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath

Student/Apprentice Chef Category Finalists

Sponsored by Nisbets Catering Equipment

§  Andrei Jurma, Truro and Penwith College and The Gurnard’s Head, Zennor, Cornwall

§  Joshua Jay Mannino, Launceston College and Hotel Endsleigh, Milton Abbot, Devon

§  Rosie Nevill, Exeter College, Devon

§  Hazel Stanton, Exeter College and Gather, Totnes, Devon

Home Cook Category Finalists 

Sponsored by Ashburton Cookery School

Harry Burgess, Plymouth, Devon

Gillian Francis, Liskeard, Cornwall

Tom Litten, Upottery, Devon

Katriona Watson, Launceston, Cornwall

Marie-Joelle West, Exeter, Devon

Junior Chef Category Finalists

Sponsored by Michael Caines MBE and Lympstone Manor


George – Truro School


Oliver – The Kings School, Ottery St Mary


Katie – The Gryphon School, Sherborne (for the second consecutive year!)


Susanna – Katherine Lady Berkeley’s School, Wotton-under-Edge


Munopa – Queen’s College, Taunton (for the second time)


Katherine – The Ridgeway School, Wroughton

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