Pub chef gets fighting chance for top award after MP nomination

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Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has announced her nomination for the Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year awards.

Ms Dinenage’s nomination, Rob Stothard, is chef at the Fighting Cocks pub in Clayhall Road in Gosport.

Chef Rob Stothard at the Fighting Cocks pub in Gosport

Chef Rob Stothard at the Fighting Cocks pub in Gosport

A self-taught chef, Rob has worked at the pub, a short walk from his home, since 2014.

The nomination will see Rob join chefs from across the UK as they compete for the top accolade, Pub Chef of the Year.

An expert panel will be judging the chefs. The panel will then short-list its favourite contenders who will compete in a cook-off, displaying their skills to a host of judges including organisers, The British Beer and Pub Association, sponsors from Nestle Professional and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group and TV guest chef presenter and former Michelin star holder, Paul Merret.

On his nomination, Rob said: ‘The manager was so excited she came and knocked on my door on the Sunday night to tell me!

‘I pride myself on making sure our customers feel like they have been fed by their mum with good, homely country food in abundance. This nomination is very exciting.’

Ms Dinenage spoke of her support of the awards, saying: ‘The Pub Chef Awards are a fantastic way to recognise how much pubs contribute both to our local communities and our prosperity.

‘Pubs and their staff play a crucial role in the social and economic life of our nation and I am pleased to have nominated a truly fantastic local pub chef for this award!’

Chefs will be feeling the heat as they showcase their skills in front of the experts. The British Beer and Pub Association is more than a century old and accounts for 90 per cent of the beer brewed in Britain today, owning around 20,000 pubs across the UK.

BBPS chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: ‘With pubs serving around a billion meals each year it is important to recognise the contribution pub chefs make to the eating out experience in this country.

‘The outstanding range of culinary options that span from breakfast to evening meals demonstrates the huge wealth of creativity in pub kitchens, big and small.

‘Many leading, well-known celebrity chefs have ventured into the pub arena helping to further boost the quality of food in pubs, whilst still making it an affordable treat.

‘Our aim is to highlight the talented chefs around the country, help spot future stars and encourage more young people to consider training and working as a chef in a pub

The award will be presented in early 2018, with the winner receiving £500.