South West Chef of the Year 2019 opens for entries

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 1:40pm

Celebrating culinary talent from across the West Country, the 2019 South West Chef of the Year competition is now open for entries. The prestigious culinary contest is in its 16th year and showcases excellence in the South West’s hospitality industry and among amateur cooks too, awarding the very best talent in five different categories.

The five categories for the competition are: Professional, Young Professional, Student/Apprentice Chef, Junior (under 16) and Home Cook. One of these five winners will also be crowned South West Chef of the Year 2019. Competitors can apply online by 14th August. The Junior category entry has now closed.

Michael Caines MBE said “The South West Chef of the Year competition is hugely important for the region’s hospitality industry and for the individuals whose careers it helps to shape. We are looking for competitors who are passionate not just about the dishes they are creating but the ingredients they are using and working with.  The competition is also a great opportunity for amateur cooking enthusiasts to learn from some of the best chefs take to their culinary skills to the next level.”

Michael is joined by an impressive judging panel of the South West’s finest chefs.

The Professional class is for those working at the level of pastry chef, junior sous or above and was won in 2018 by Tim Kendall, Head Chef at The Idle Rocks in St Mawes, Cornwall.  

The Young Professional class is for chefs aged 19 to 24 years. Last year’s winner was Gercelynn Mae Dionio, Demi Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath.

Home Cooks will be recognised within a dedicated class to highlight the growing skills and passion of those who have learned their craft at home. Entrants to the Home Cook category must be aged 16 or above and are asked to create a main course and dessert for two people. Successful entrants will go through to the finals on Saturday 5th October at Ashburton Cookery School, sponsor of the class.  Oonagh Egerton from Salisbury was the winner in this category for 2018.

The Student/Apprentice Chef class is open to those aged 16 to 19 who are studying at college or in an apprenticeship. Last year’s winner Sophie Kennard works at The Swan in Bampton near Tiverton whilst studying at Exeter College.

An awards presentation dinner will be held after the final of the Professional, Young Professional and Student Chef classes on 22nd October, at Exeter Golf and Country Club.

Full details of the brief for each category and how to enter can be found online at

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