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Tuesday, 07 November 2017

Aspiring master chefs from leading hospitality group Buzzworks Holdings have been put through their paces at its annual Chef of the Year competition.

A total of 30 chefs recently competed in two heats – one for commis and chef de parties and the other for sous and head chefs – at Ayrshire Colleges Centre for Excellence in Irvine. Twelve chefs qualified for the final and face a test of skill and creativity to be crowned Buzzworks Chef of the Year 2017.

Sponsored by Brakes and judged by a panel of experts, the contest is open to all chefs working across Buzzworks portfolio of ten restaurants and encourages skill development through healthy competition.

The competitor crowned Chef of the Year will win a luxury overnight stay with dinner and breakfast at Gleneagles or Turnberry as well as a Brakes hamper with cooking equipment vouchers, professional kitchen knives and top recipe books.

Heat one saw chef de parties and commis chefs go head to head in a challenge to replicate an intricate salmon dish and Sheree Donnelly from The Coach House, Bridge of Weir, came out on top.

The second heat was a timed round for sous and head chefs who were given surprise ingredients and asked to create a starter and main course within two hours. Brian Canny from Elliots in Prestwick impressed the judges to be announced winner of heat two.

Sheree and Brian alongside ten other chefs qualified for the final of Buzzworks Chef of the Year at Dumfries House on Monday 13 November.

Kenny Blair, Buzzworks Holdings MD, said: “It’s inspiring to see how engaged the competitors are - the superb quality, skill and creativity displayed each year is testament to our workforce and ongoing training practices.

“It’s a real honour to have Donald McInnes, who is the Executive Head Chef at Fresh Food Company and Brakes Senior Development Chef Derek Lockett as judges this year.

“The competition, now in its third year, is great for skill development and career progression of everyone who takes part and I wish the 12 finalists the very best of luck.”

For the final, junior and senior chefs will partner up to create a menu of two dishes – either starters and main or main and desserts – encompassing the theme of Sustainable Scotland. Buzzworks will stream the final live into its kitchens to include the wider team and keep everyone updated as the competition progresses.