Winners of Classic Lodges competition announced

Brent Jones, a commis-chef from Harrogate, has won the ‘junior’ section of a nationwide competition to recognise and reward up-and-coming chefs working in the kitchens of Classic Lodges hotels across the country.

Seventeen-year-old Jones had to bone and cook a flat fish in butter and lemon and serve it to a panel of judges that included a representative from AA Hotel Services.

AA’s representative Alastair Sandall said: “My advice to all young chefs is to eat out as much as possible, to see what other cooks are doing in the kitchen and see what you can learn from them. My advice is also to always keep your cooking simple: let the ingredients speak for themselves.”

The competition, now in its fourth year, was open to anyone employed within the group below the position of head chef.

Fourteen entrants were divided into ‘junior’ and ‘senior’ categories based on age and experience. Winner of the ‘senior’ category was Aiden Heaton from Faringdon Lodge.

Senior category contestants were given a box of ingredients chosen on the day to prepare a starter of their own creation, and ox cheeks to cook for the main course.

Both winners were presented with a set of knives, recipe books and a cash prize.

Director of marketing and associates at Classic Lodges, Richard Smith, said: “We consider all of the restaurants at our hotels to be a key part of our guests’ enjoyment during their stay, and so employ some of the finest young chefs from the areas local to each hotel.

“The standard of the cooking in the competition, in both the junior and senior categories, proves to us that our faith is well placed in these chefs, and the feedback we regularly receive from guests backs that up.”

Image: (L-R) Richard Grime, managing director of Classic Lodges; Brent Jones, chef at the Old Swan, Harrogate; and Iain Shaw, head judge, from PFL.

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