Winners in the Fuller’s chef of the year competition, Andy Bunting (centre) and Amber Barnes, with Luke Cuthrie, winner of the restaurant service award
Andy Bunting, sous chef at The Wykeham Arms, Winchester, has been crowned Fuller’s chef of the year 2018.
Amber Barnes, sous chef at The King’s Head, in Wickham, won the junior category of the competition.
Luke Guthrie, also from The Wykeham Arms, won the restaurant service award, which was judged by Roz and Nick Parkinson, of the Royal Oak, Paley Street.
Andy and Amber were crowned victorious following a final cook-off, where they went head to head against other Fuller’s chefs in both categories. They were challenged with designing a menu using the following seasonal ingredients: starter of scallops, main course of lamb (two cuts), and pudding with raspberry and lemon.
The final cook-off took place at the Fuller’s Inns Conference, held at Fuller’s Griffin Brewery in Chiswick. It was judged by: Michelin-starred chef, Russell Brown; British Beer and Pub Association public affairs manager, Josh Green; Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffmann; butcher, William Owton; Roux scholar, Mathew Tomkinson; and food blogger, David William.
Innovation and skill
Paul Dickinson, Fuller’s director of food, said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed for Andy and Amber. They both exceeded the challenge set to all those who entered, with great innovation, skill and creative approach, simply perfectly executed on the day for the judges and customers. I am excited about their future with us, which will inspire the rest of our chefs to rise to the challenge for 2019.
“Competition was high and the judges were looking at the chefs’ skills and methodology in their cooking, but also at the balance of their menus, the presentation, the flavours, and the execution of the ingredients.
“This competition raises the profile of food and our chefs in Fuller’s. It is an important driver for our business, around upskilling our talent, and it is brilliant that we can recognise the very best chefs in our team in order to secure long-term success.”