Yesterday, Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC announced their annual Chef of the Year winners. The premium pub company held the final in Havant & South Downs College, Hampshire on Tuesday 9th. The day of the final witnessed its final contestants battle it out for the Chef of the Year title, plus the chance to fly to Hong Kong to work in Simon Rogan’s new restaurant.
Since 2016, Fuller’s have held the competition in 3 categories: Chef of the Year, Junior Chef of the Year for the under 24 years category and Service Coach of the Year for front of house. This year saw the introduction of College Chef of the Year, which opened the competition to cooking students from Fuller’s partner colleges.
“I wanted to inspire and give insight to future talent, showing that they can have a creative career as a chef at Fuller’s.”
– Paul Dickinson (Fuller’s Director of Food).
Finalists were judged on their techniques, flavour, execution and service by an expert judging panel of 12 leading industry individuals – including Michelin Star Chefs – with seven judges for food and five for service.
Chef of the Year 2019 – Luke Emmess, The Still & West, Portsmouth.
The eight finalists for Chef of the Year were challenged with designing a menu using pigeon for the starter, smoked cod for the main course, and pumpkin for the pudding. They were teamed with a Service Coach, who served their menus to their guests and the judges.
Runners Up: David Green, The White Hart, Stockbridge (silver), Kon Dyugay, The Tap on the Line, Kew Garden Station (Bronze).
Junior Chef of the Year 2019 – Shey Odysanwo, Apprentice Chef at The Signal Box, Euston
Chefs competing in the Junior and College categories were tasked with creating a main course using smoked cod and a pudding made with pumpkin.
Runners up: Joshua Hillyard, Chef de partie at The Cams Mill, Fareham (Silver), Thomas Featherstone, Apprentice Chef at The Signal Box, Euston (Bronze).
College Chef of the Year 2019 – Jonny Smith, Havant & South Downs College.
This year Fuller’s opened the competition to full time and part time students attending the seven colleges and universities that it partners with on its apprenticeship programme.
Runners up: Chloe Curry, Havant & South Downs College (Silver), Bayan Zuraiki, The University of West London (Bronze).
Service Coach of the Year 2019 – Niamh Jiggins, The Ship Inn, Langstone.
Fuller’s Service Coach of the Year recognises excellence in front of house service.
Runners Up: Sze Razak, Fuller’s Ale & Pie House, London (Silver), Gemma McNair, The Bat & Ball, Clanfield (Bronze).
“I’m completely blown away by the talent of this year’s competitors. All the finalists truly exceeded my expectations with the skills, techniques and creativity used with the ingredients given to them, and the front of house service, which is integral to everything we do, has truly raised the bar this year.
-Paul Dickinson (Director of Food)
The Fuller’s competition is a great opportunity for Fuller’s chefs to showcase their talents and be rewarded for their skills. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of 2019!