Tim Kendall Wins 2018 South West Chef of the Year

Tim Kendall Wins 2018 South West Chef of the Year

By Holly Painter

25 October 2018

The winner of this year’s South West Chef of the Year competition has now been announced at a special awards ceremony at Exeter Golf and Country Club. Each finalist has faced their biggest challenge to date by cooking their menu for some of the South West’s most notorious chef judges at Exeter College.

2018 marks the competition’s 15th year and offers an opportunity for competitors to gain recognition for creativity in the kitchen and ultimately, to find the best chefs in the South West. The overall winner of 2018’s South West Chef of the Year was awarded to Tim Kendall, Sous Chef at The Idle Rocks in St Mawes.  On the 24th October, the finalists cooked a three-course menu using compulsory ingredients revealed just one week ago, as well as a mystery box of ingredients supplied just 30 minutes before the final began. Tim’s winning dish included tiger milk with coriander mayonnaise with pickled apples and mussels.

Not only do the awards set out to find an overall winner, the competition included a total of five categories with the aim to find the best in a number of divisions.

The 2018 category winners are:

  • Professional Category (sponsored by Ritter Courivaud) – Tim Kendall, The Idle Rocks, St Mawes, Cornwall
  • Young Professional Category (sponsored by Caterpeople) – Gercelynn Mae Dionio, Demi Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Student/Apprentice Chef Category (sponsored by Nisbets Catering Equipment) – Sophie Kennard, Exeter College and The Swan, Bampton
  • Home Cook Category (sponsored by Ashburton Cookery School) – Oonagh Egerton, Salisbury, Wiltshire
  • Junior Category (Sponsored by Michael Caines MBE and Lympstone Manor) – Conor Boakes, Whitstone School, Shepton Mallet

The chefs who judged the Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice Chef categories include Michael Caines (Lympstone Manor, Lympstone); Stephane Delourme (The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow); Peter Gorton (Gorton’s Hospitality Academy, Plymouth); Neil Haydock (Watergate Bay Hotel, Newquay); Niall Keating (Whatley Manor, Malmesbury); Matt Mason (The Jack in the Green, Rockbeare); Scott Paton (The Horn of Plenty, Gulworthy); Chris Tanner and James Tanner (Barbican Kitchen and Kentish Hare) and Seth Ward (Bidfood).

Six Junior Chef Finalists (aged 11-16) from previous county heats met each other for a final cook-off on the 6th October at Ashburton Cookery School. On the same day, four finalists cooking for the title of Home Cook winner produced a two-course menu for the judges. 

South West Chef of the Year Co-founder and head judge Michael Caines MBE said: “This year’s challenge was certainly not an easy one. Cooking is a science and not having much time to prepare is a real art, something not everyone is able to do. The chefs proved themselves as true West Country talent and their dishes certainly portrayed this.  The standard of food was exceptional and the passion, knowledge and creativity shone through their work.  It’s great to see such talent from as young as 11 all the way through to professional standard demonstrating that here in the South West, we have a wealth of excellence in the hospitality industry”.

2018 South West Chef of the Year winner Tim Kendall said: “With this competition, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose as being judged by some of the South West’s leading chef experts gives you such a confidence boost.  Being judged by them and knowing that the food you prepare is good is what matters and gives you the confidence to go on in the workplace and further your career”.

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