Caroline's nomination for Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year takes spot in the top four pub chefs in the UK.
Pub chef Ryan Lamb, of the Tally Ho in Broughton, joined Romsey MP Caroline Nokes, at the House of Commons last night, to celebrate having reached the final of the Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year Competition.
MPs were asked to nominate a pub chef in their constituency to enter into one of two categories in the competition: Young Pub Chef of the Year, for those aged under 30, and Pub Chef of the Year for those over 30.
Ryan was one of only four pub chefs who made it through to the final stage of the national competition in the Pub Chef of the Year category, having been initially put forward by the Minister, who is Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton North.
The winner of the Young Pub Chef of the Year category was Amy Houghton from the Shoulder of Mutton in Hebden Bridge, who was nominated by Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley.
The Pub Chef of the Year category was won by Kevin MacLean of the Rat Inn in Anick near Hexham, nominated by Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham.
Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, said: “It was lovely to welcome Ryan and his wife Kerry to Parliament on Wednesday and I am enormously proud that he has been recognised as one of the top four pub chefs in the UK. While he may have missed out on the top spot by the narrowest of margins, it remains a huge achievement.”
Ryan said: “This experience has been exciting, motivating and humbling. To know that the hard work and passion pub chefs put into their work everyday is being recognised nationally is incredibly rewarding.”
Run by the British Beer & Pub Association and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, in partnership with Nestlé Professional, the event was a huge success with over 80 selected attendees from the education, media and pub industry including celebrity chef and judge, Paul Merrett.
Over 130 nominations were received from MPs around the country who selected a pub chef from within their constituency for the awards. The competition was intense, making for an onerous task of whittling the nominees down to four finalists in each of the two categories. A cook-off was staged in January where each of the finalists had the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity and flair in presenting a dish to the select panel of judges before an interview with the judges. The tension has been mounting in the run-up to the results.
Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, British Beer & Pub Association: “The standard of cooking in this year’s competition really was outstanding, all of the finalists should feel very proud of what they have achieved.
“Particular congratulations must go of course to the winners, Kevin and Amy, who displayed such flair and passion for their food. Pubs are increasingly home to some of the best British chefs which is very exciting for the future of our sector.”
Charlotte Ponti, Savoury Foods Manager at Nestlé Professional UK, said: “This year’s standards have been really impressive. Not only were the participants creative and technically excellent, they also demonstrated a strong work ethic and drive. It is exciting to see that there is such great talent in pubs with the promise of a bright future. All the finalists can be really proud of what they achieved and we wish them lots of success.”