Local pub chef Gordon Jones from the Brit Pub, Port Talbot, has been named as one of the finalists in the British Beer & Pub Association and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group’s Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year competition, in partnership with Nestlé Professional.
The prestigious new award sought nominations from MPs for a pub chef or chefs in their constituency who provide an excellent food offering. Gordon was nominated by Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock and was chosen as a finalist from more than 120 entries.
The pub chefs were assessed by a panel of six expert judges. The entries were sorted into two age groups – with those under 30 being considered for the Parliamentary Young Pub Chef of the Year – and eight lucky finalists have now been named.
The panel of judges were extremely impressed by the quality of the nominations received from up and down the country. The eight finalists will now proceed to a cook-off event at The Vintry pub in London in January, where they will cook for a panel of judges including experienced, Michelin-starred chefs.
Stephen Kinnock MP said: “I am absolutely delighted that Gordon has made it through to the final eight. That is a fantastic achievement when you consider that well over 100 chefs entered the race. The Brit is my local pub and I had no hesitation whatsoever in nominating Gordon for this prestigious award. The food is delicious and the beer is, too. “
Gordon Jones said: “Winning would be a great surprise and a proud moment, as this has appeared out of the blue! It would be terrific for The Brit and everyone involved. It would mean that the hard work put in hasn’t gone unnoticed.”
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, comments: “I am delighted that over 100 MPs recognised the efforts of superb chefs in their constituencies. We were so impressed with the quality of the chefs we saw, and it was a tough task to reduce the field to eight brilliant finalists.
“A career as a pub chef is exciting and demanding, and it offers young people development, rewards and a great working environment. Pubs are increasingly serving very high quality food – as the nominees for this competition have shown – and for ambitious chefs, it’s a great chance to take control of your own kitchen.”
Pubs serve almost a billion meals a year, with more and more pubs recognising that great food will attract more customers. Pubs are also vital to the local economy in every part of the country, offering valuable and flexible employment.
George Vezza, Managing Director at Nestlé Professional®, added:
“Pubs are an ever more popular option for eating out in the UK, and pub chefs make a very significant contribution within the Hospitality Sector.
“Our long-standing Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or competition for student chefs is just one example of our commitment to advocating and nurturing new talent in the Industry – and our sponsorship takes this to the next level. A career as a pub chef can be extremely rewarding, and we hope that by shouting about it with initiatives such as the Parliamentary Pub Chef and Young Pub Chef of the Year Award, we can attract the finest talent to this sector.”
The eight finalists are:
Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year
Michele Cremona (The Candlemaker, Battersea). Nominated by Jane Ellison MP.
Milan Hukal (Dog Inn, Grundisburgh). Nominated by Daniel Poulter MP.
John Calton (Staith House, North Shields). Nominated by Alan Campbell MP.
Gordon Jones (The Brit Pub, Port Talbot). Nominated by Stephen Kinnock MP.
Parliamentary Young Pub Chef of the Year
Gordon Stott (The Sun Inn, Dummer). Nominated by Kit Malthouse MP.
Robert Yuill (D’Arcy Thompson, Dundee). Nominated by Chris Law MP.
Edward Hackland (The Waggon, Halam). Nominated by Mark Spencer MP.
Matt Long (The Raglan Arms, Llandenny). Nominated by David Davies MP.