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IT WAS predicted that a Michelin star will soon be won in Brighton and Hove after the city’s top culinary talent battled it out to see who will be crowned Chef of the Year and Young Chef of the Year.
Chefs Michael Bremner (64 Degrees), Steven Edwards (Etch) and Duncan Ray (Little Fish Market) featured in the senior group, whilst budding young chefs included George Boarer (Etch), Jackson Heron (64 Degrees) and George Oasley (Isaac At).
In advance of the judging for the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Awards prizes the chefs were given a pre-prescribed list of seasonal produce to create their dish from. Then each of them had 45 minutes to prepare a main course for the judges to sample and score. Points were given for technical skill, presentation, keeping to time, balance and flavour, and originality with the ingredients.
The judging panel at the Hotel du Vin in Ship Street, Brighton, consisted of some of the most trusted food industry voices in the county including Ben Mckellar from Brighton’s Gingerman Group, Jeremy Ashpool of Jeremy’s Restaurant at Borde Hill, deputy editor of the national Restaurant Magazine Joe Lutrario, and Latest Media journalist and food festival director Andrew Kay.
Joe said: “It’s important to highlight Brighton and Hove’s considerable culinary talent.
“The last few years has seen a huge number of high quality openings and the city’s restaurant scene now punches well above its weight. Brighton and Hove was once again overlooked in the 2018 Michelin Guide but it won’t be long until one of the city’s chefs attracts a star.”
Ben said: “I’m honoured to be part of the judging panel showcasing the finest talent Brighton has to offer”, said Ben Mckellar.
They were joined by food festival sponsors Billy Humphreys from lovelocaljobs.com and Mardi Roberts from Ridgeview Wine Estate in Ditchling.
Mardi said:“Helping judge the Chef of the Year award has been a fantastic experience.
“The best thing about the food and drink scene in Brighton is how collaborative and respectful everyone is of each other’s businesses.
“The food festival creates wonderful opportunities such as these for the industry to join together to network, share notes and importantly celebrate everyone’s success”.
The two best chef categories are part of the annual Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Awards which also include Best Restaurant, Best Pub, Food Hero and Best Family Dining alongside others.
The Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Awards are a yearly celebration of the best of the best in the city’s food, drink and hospitality scene.
Co-ordinated by the team behind the not-for-profit Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival organisation, public nominations were open from April to the end of August.
The top three in each category then went on to interviews and reviews by the festival team, category sponsors and media partners to find the winners.
“A huge amount of time and effort goes into the food awards each year”, said festival managing director Nick Mosley.
“I’d like to thank all of our amazing finalists, generous sponsors and media partners, and the thousands of members of the public who took the time to share their nominations with us”.
The grand finals of the food awards will be hosted at My Brighton hotel on Monday 6 November, with the winners revealed exclusively in the Argus on Tuesday 7 November.
Chairman of the judges Andrew Kay added: “Brighton & Hove has hit a gastronomic high this year and by holding two best chef competitions – young and not so young – it gives the city another opportunity to shout out about how good it really is and to reward those chefs who have put us at the top of the tree.
“We have certainly become a destination for gastronomic tourism, quality producers and food lovers”.
Source: The Argus