The M&S Chef of the Year Challenge

The M&S Chef of the Year Challenge final took place last week, with colleagues from across the business battling it out for the prestigious title.

Following last year’s successful M&S competition we ran two events; the amateur division was open to anyone from our offices or stores and our professional division was opened to trained chefs.

The finalists were all present on merit, following several stages of selection and had beaten their way through hundreds of entries from across the UK & Ireland. The chefs were tasked to produce a three course meal for two people using M&S ingredients consisting of a vegetarian starter, a sustainable fish main course and finally a dessert of seasonal strawberries, in just 90 minutes.

The standards incredibly high making it difficult to pick out an outstanding individual, but eventually the winners were announced.

Roz Graham from Camberley store, who works as a staff coordinator, was crowned the amateur chef of the year 2011

Melvyn Redding from Hedge End store – who works as the head chef in one of the busiest M&S restaurants – was announced as the Professional chef of the year 2011

Well done to Roz and Melvyn, but also congratulations to all of the finalists who showed great skill and made the final a truly high-quality event; fiercely competed but in tremendous spirit.

Our Amateur finalists
Mya Aronica – Aberdeen
Judith Battimelli – Maidenhead
Roz Graham – Camberley
Stephanie Keating – Navan

Our Professional finalists
Marc Herron – Lisburn
John Law – Culverhouse cross
Robert Parish Smith – London Colney
Melvyn Redding – Hedge End

The event was supported by The Craft guild of Chefs; the country’s leading chef organisation and our trophies were generously sponsored by Bakkavor and Manitowoc food service solutions.

Head of hospitality for M&S Jason Danciger, also a member of the craft guild of chefs, chaired the judges for both of our chef challenges along with Lead chefs from the M&S development teams and representatives of our sponsors.

“The food was outstanding and some of the amateur dishes could grace the table of many top restaurants in the country,” said Jason. “The professional level was up to the standard of national competitions that I have judged – in both cases this just shows the incredible talent in our M&S people. Congratulations to all our finalists, and especially Roz and Melvyn”.


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