City College Brighton & Hove

Following a sizzling cook-off hosted by City College Brighton and Hove featuring six of the best young chefs in Sussex, two of three finalists have been confirmed as former City College Catering students. Each young chef was asked to prepare a three course meal made from locally sourced Sussex produce, battling it out to win the hotly contended Sussex Young Chef of the Year award, sponsored by Cheese Please and Gram UK Ltd, as part of the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2012/13. They were judged by an expert panel including Roy Perrett from the Craft Guild of Chefs, Leroy Clarke, Chef Lecturer at City College’s catering department, sponsors Fiona Kay of Cheese Please, Glenn Roberts of Gram UK Ltd and Chair of the judges, Clive Beddall OBE.

Twenty year old Charlie Tayler from South Lodge in Upper Beeding near Horsham, works as demi chef de partie in The Pass restaurant at the hotel. His starter of scallops and butternut squash was followed by wood pigeon, finishing off with a blackberry cheesecake of outstandingly high standard which was singled out for particular praise by the judges. Twenty year old Ryan Hunter was the youngest of the three finalists and, like Charlie, was delighted to be back cooking at the College where he did his training. Now working as part of the team at Wingrove House in Alfriston, he produced a sea bass starter, freshly caught on the morning of the competition, followed by downland rabbit of exceptional taste and finishing off with a rice pudding complemented with a plum, apple and blackberry compote.

Completing the trio of finalists was twenty-four-year-old Jimmy Gray from Jeremy’s Restaurant at Borde Hill Gardens near Haywards Heath, who produced a menu which was judged to be exceptionally creative. The presentation of his butter poached lobster to start was excellent and was followed up by a main course of Sussex mallard, the ingredients for which were all produced within a five mile radius of Borde Hill. The finale to his menu was a poached pear and Slipcote cheese mousse.

The young chefs were judged not only on the sourcing of ingredients but also on the taste, presentation, creativity, saleability and customer appeal of their menus and after much deliberation on the part of the judging panel the three finalists were agreed as follows:

Roy Perrett said: "The six young chefs all produced menus of an amazing standard and selecting just three finalists was challenging with a display of such exceptional culinary skills. It was a very exciting and highly competitive afternoon from which I have come away with the names and addresses of six fantastic Sussex eateries."

Leroy Clarke added: "When we have young chefs as talented as today’s competitors working in our restaurants and hotels, the hospitality and catering industry in Sussex has a great future and can only go from strength to strength."

Winners and runners up will be revealed at the ‘Sussex foodie event of the year’, the awards banquet, being held at the Amex Stadium on 31st January 2013, hosted by Sally Gunnell OBE and Danny Pike from BBC Sussex. Other categories in these coveted awards include best Sussex eating experience, food producer, drink producer, farmer, food/farm shop, butcher and farmers market. Tickets for the sumptuous seven-course Sussex feast and awards ceremony are now on sale.

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 About City College Brighton and Hove: Situated in the heart of Brighton and graded ‘Outstanding’ in key areas by Ofsted in its June 2011 report, City College Brighton and Hove is an international centre of vocational excellence and one of the top performing Further Education Colleges in the country. Every year, 2,000 full-time, 7,000 part time, 400 Higher Education and 400 14-16 year old students as well as many international and European students choose City College as their place of further and higher education training. In addition, the College provides training to over 2,000 businesses via its ‘City Business Skills’ department which focuses on employer training needs. Offering over 700 courses from basic level right through to business and postgraduate training, City College is working with its partners to develop the workforce of the future. 

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