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Master Chef and Young Chef 2013 Crowned



Master Chef and Young Chef crowned in the prestigious county-wide competition


Taste of Staffordshire has officially crowned the winners of the Master Chef and Young Chef of Tomorrow competition for 2013, celebrating the extraordinary expertise of the county’s culinary masters.

Richard Cullen, from the Spot Gate Inn in Stone, and Jack Harries, from The Granary Grill, Weston Park, have been crowned Taste of Staffordshire’s Master Chef and Young Chef of Tomorrow 2013 respectively, triumphing over competitors.

The winners were chosen after a challenging two hour ‘cook-off’ at Stafford College which saw 13 finalists, seven contestants in the Master Chef category and six in the Young Chef, prepare a three course meal costing under £20 and using the finest Staffordshire ingredients.

The Chairman of Judges and Group Executive Chef for The Lewis Partnership, Matt Davies, said: “The standard set across the board this year was extremely high amongst the finalists, so it was very difficult selecting our overall winner for both categories. We were very impressed with everything that was produced in the kitchen today, each of the entrants should be very proud of themselves. We have a very strong culinary offer in Staffordshire.

“What stood out in the Young Chef competition was the ambition and passion amongst the finalists, creating innovative and flavorsome dishes. We had a very exciting Master Chef cook-off as well with past winners battling it out to triumph in this year’s competition.”

Richard and Jack were announced the culinary victors and presented with their awards at a ceremony at Weston Park, attended by a host of esteemed professionals in the field and dedicated food sponsors.

All 13 finalists were also presented with a commemorative plate and chef’s whites to congratulate them on reaching the final.

Taste of Staffordshire patron, Sarah Willingham, said: “Once again it has been a fantastic contest with some of the best up-and-coming chefs fighting it out to win this esteemed competition.

“Richard and Jack’s success in the cook-offs will act as an extremely positive boost to their careers, they were very worthy winners and I wish them all the best in the future.”

As this year’s Master Chef winner, Richard has not only won the coveted title, but also receives a cash prize of £700 from Staffordshire County Council, £250 from 3663, £250 of Churchill China gift vouchers, annual membership to the British Culinary Federation, a commemorative plate and a trophy.

The 2013 Young Chef of Tomorrow, Jack, will enjoy a week’s work experience at Michelin star fine dining restaurant Simpsons, in Birmingham, plus accommodation sponsored by Service Science. Jack also received a commemorative plate from Churchill China, a trophy, membership to the British Culinary Federation as well as a cash prize of £250 from Staffordshire County Council and £250 from 3663

On winning this year’s Taste of Staffordshire Master Chef title, Richard said: “I’m delighted to have won the award as it was a very close competition. All the chefs competing set the standard very high. Being part of this event has helped me to develop my skills and take my career to the next level.”

On being crowned Taste of Staffordshire Young Chef of Tomorrow, Jack said: “Today’s experience has been second to none and I thoroughly enjoyed competing against some great young chefs. The judges advice has been fantastic and I am looking forward to putting their comments into practice.”

A special ‘Food Safety’ award was also granted to Sean Sleigh of the Master Chef competition and Jack Harries of the Young Chef competition by sponsor Chumley Roberts Partnership. This award recognised the high standards of hygiene and cleanliness that were upheld by the contestants during the cook-off.

Initiated by Taste of Staffordshire, the competition has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2006, and is open to any chef aged 16 and upwards working in the catering industry in Staffordshire.

Taste of Staffordshire aims to raise standards and develop culinary talent across the county, promoting local dishes and produce and celebrating Staffordshire’s distinctive gastronomic appeal.

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