South West Chef of the Year 2017: Winners Announced

The region’s freshest new gastronomic talent gathered yesterday for the grand final of the 2017 South West Chef of the Year. The competition, which aims to recognise and nurture talented chefs and cooks throughout the region, hosted its final at Exeter College followed by a glittering celebration at Exeter Golf & Country Club. Winners were announced during a lavish dinner devised and prepared by some of the region’s culinary crème de la crème.

South West Chef of the Year is the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef, Michael Caines MBE who launched the competition in 2004. Michael said: “I’m immensely proud of South West Chef of the Year and what it achieves. The competition started 14 years ago because I wanted to highlight the skill and commitment of chefs and cooks in this region and the diversity and quality of produce available in the South West – which are exceptional in my opinion. I was delighted to taste menus from new and upcoming chefs and home cooks as part of the competition and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our winners, finalists, semi-finalists and competition entrants.”

Michael was joined by 12 of the region’s most celebrated and award-winning chefs, including Hywel Jones and Elly Wentworth of Lucknam Park, Christ Tanner of Barbican Kitchen, Matt Mason of the Jack in the Green and Stephane Deloume of The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow to judge the final rounds. The competition prides itself on providing a nurturing platform from which chefs can develop their careers, highlight their creativity and ability and learn new skills.

Finalists in the Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice Chef categories were assessed yesterday at Exeter College whilst those through to the finals in the Home Cook category attended a final at Ashburton Cookery School on Saturday 14th October where they were joined by the Junior Chef finalists.

This year’s winning chefs:

Overall South West Chef of the Year

Professional category
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Young Professional category
Sponsored by Lympstone Manor and Michael Caines MBE

Student/Apprentice Chef category
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Home Cook category
Sponsored by Ashburton Cookery School

Junior Chef category
Following a junior final of the highest caliber, the judges awarded the title jointly to


Best Showcase of Regional Ingredients
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Best Presentation

For his main course dish of Ballotine of chicken, merguez, parsnip, mushroom

Best Menu

Best Dish
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For his starter of Cured Brill, scallop tartare, smoked bacon hollandaise, pickled shallots and puffed spelt.