Chef & Brewer names Chef of the Year

29 October 2002 by
Chef & Brewer names Chef of the Year

Terry Walker, head chef at the Malthouse Farm in Whittle-le-Woods, Lancashire, has won the 2002 Chef & Brewer Chef of the Year title after beating off the challenges of four other chefs working in the pub group, owned by parent company Scottish & Newcastle (S&N).

Walker and his four fellow-competitors qualified for the final, staged last week at S&N's Northampton food development centre, after winning through a series of nine regional heats staged in catering colleges around the UK. On the day, they were asked to prepare a starter, main course dish and main course fish dish with accompanying vegetables and wine recommendations (previously submitted on paper) over a period of one-and-a-half hours. To add a new slant to the competition, this year the finalists were required to include regional influences in one or more of the dishes they cooked.

It was Walker's offerings of spiked chicken with chilli and orange sauce; Heapy's banger pudding with red wine and herb sauce; and snappy salmon with passion fruit dressing that impressed the four-strong judging panel, chaired by Tony Tobin (Chef & Brewer consultant chef and chef-proprietor of the Dining Room in Reigate, Surrey), with their presentation, flavour and simplicity.

The main course, named after the area near Walker's pub, comprised a seared pork and leek sausage served on a cannellini mustard mash topped with a savoury apple pudding based on a traditional Chorley recipe.

It's 26-year-old Walker's second tilt at the competition. "I'm very excited," he said. "It's what I've been working towards for the last 12 months. I wasn't shocked to get through to this level, but I am very surprised to have won."

All five finalists will be visiting Spain on a culinary study trip, while Walker, in addition, received a set of Global knives worth £1,000.

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