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Local chefs earn gold and silver medals

Chefs from Lower Beeding won gold and silver in the Sussex Young Chef of the Year Award as the contest heads for big night in the New Year.

They were in a “cook off” at the Amex stadium at Brighton as part of the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2015/16.

Ryan Tomkinson from The Pass at South Lodge Hotel was one of three to be presented with gold medals as they were announced as this year’s “Grand Finalists”, with Stephanie Haywood from Ockenden Manor in Cuckfield, Michael Sutherland from The Sussex Ox in Polegate.

Silver medallists included Dan Cotton from The Crabtree Inn in Lower Beeding, Tom Pring from The Galin in Heathfield and Alex Floyd from the Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club.

The chefs were asked to create three courses for a special tenth anniversary menu, showcasing local Sussex producers, farmers and growers, which might be served to the 400 guests at the Sussex Food and Drink Awards banquet, taking place on January 28 at the Amex Stadium. It will be at this ceremony where the overall winner of Sussex Young Chef of the Year will be presented with the winning trophy.

The budget for the ingredients for all three courses was £15 a person and the chefs had 90 minutes to produce two plates of each course to present to the judges. 

The youngest chef in the competition, Ryan Tomkinson, was also a Grand Finalist in last year’s competition. Ryan is used to high standards working with Matt Gillan, Head Chef at The Pass at South Lodge Hotel, who has enjoyed recent success on the BBC’s Great British Menu with his stunning goat main course served at the WI Banquet. The contest was sponsored by Sodexo Prestige.

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