Sean Cleveland, an emerging talent from the prestigious Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire has been named Tilda Young Chef of the Year 2017 at the Great Hospitality Show.
After a fiercely competed final, the judges chose the young chef as the overall winner, edging out seven other talented youngsters to scoop the title with his coconut milk and smoked haddock kedgeree. Keen to celebrate his success, Executive Head Chef of The Grove Hotel, Harry Lomas, is honouring Sean’s achievement by adding the dish to the hotel’s room service menu.
The competition, in association with The Craft Guild of Chefs, was held as part of Live Theatre, the prestigious live competition element of Salon Culinaire at the Great Hospitality Show at Birmingham’s NEC on Tuesday 24th January.
Craig Dillon, Head of Tilda Foodservice said: “Congratulations to Sean, a very worthy winner. The way in which all of the contestants incorporated rice into their dishes was fantastic but Sean’s kedgeree really stood out. His passion for quality ingredients shone through and his creativity and talent was reflected in the finished dish.
“Nurturing young talent is something we’ve always believed in at Tilda and competitions like this go to show the level of skill in the hospitality industry today. Tilda Young Chef of the Year is all about giving the next generation of chefs the opportunity to shine and where better to host it than the Great Hospitality Show where there is inspiration for youngsters at every turn.”
Steve Munkley, Chef Director of Salon Culinaire went on to say: “I was hugely impressed with the standard of plates presented to the panel of judges. The time constraints and pressures of the big stage can have a huge impact on young chefs but that wasn’t the case today with all eight chefs producing high-quality dishes.
“Congratulations to Sean. He produced a fantastic dish which showed just how versatile rice is as an ingredient. The dish was packed full of flavour and we were unanimous in our decision to crown him the winner. What’s more, his success is particularly impressive as this was his first outing into the world of culinary competition.”
Competitors were given just 30 minutes to prepare, cook and present two portions of a main course using Tilda rice as the base ingredient. They could choose any style of rice from an extensive Tilda selection: Easy Cook Basmati, Brown Basmati, Fragrant Jasmine, Arborio Risotto, Original Pure Basmati and Basmati & Wild.
In addition to the prestige of winning, Sean received a Silver medal, framed certificate, commemorative plate plus automatic entry into Tilda Chef of the Year – the senior competition – which will take place at Hotelympia 2018. Sean also received a trophy and a £150 Red Letter Days voucher.