Professional chefs and aspiring cooks with a passion for preparing dishes with local ingredients are invited to compete for the title of Isle of Man Chef of the Year and Isle of Man Amateur Cook of the Year. The public are also invited to forward their nominations.
Chefs and amateur cooks must submit recipes with their entry forms and ingredients should, as far as possible, be Manx grown, reared or produced.
Shortlisted chefs will compete at heats to be held at the University College on Thursday 20 June 2019 at 2pm and the two finalists will then go head-to-head to win the title at the Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival in the Villa Marina Gardens on Sunday 15 September at 1pm.
Shortlisted amateur cooks will compete at heats to be held in the DEFA Manx Produce Marquee at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show on Friday 9 August at 2pm and the two finalists will then go head-to-head for the title at the Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival on Sunday 15 September at 3pm.
The winner of the Isle of Man Chef of the Year competition will receive an all expenses paid experience working in one of London’s premier restaurants co-ordinated by Colby-born Colin Clague, Executive Chef of Rüya Dubai – to the value of £1,000.
The winner of the Isle of Man Amateur Cook of the Year competition will receive a kitchen appliance to the value of £800.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
'demonstrating the quality, taste and versaility of Manx produce was important to ‘Food Matters’, his Department’s strategy to grow the value of the food and drink sector.
‘When eating out, diners are increasingly seeking out establishments that use Manx produce,’
‘Not only does eating Manx mean money goes back into the local economy and supports local jobs; it also guarantees a great-tasting meal and fewer food miles.
‘Chefs are using the wonderful array of Manx produce to create ever-more innovative menus and we invite them to showcase their signature dishes in this competition, which is again generously sponsored by Robinson’s.’
Janna Horsthuis, from Robinson’s, said:
‘The competition celebrates both the culinary talent of the Island’s chefs and the quality of local produce.
‘We are committed to supporting and promoting the excellence and diversity of Manx growers and producers. Many local chefs purchase produce from our stores and we would encourage them all to compete for this prestigious award.’
Darren Woods from 14North was crowned 2018 Isle of Man Chef of the Year. He said:
‘The competition provides a fantastic opportunity for chefs to showcase their skills and gain valuable publicity for themselves and their place of work.
‘We benefited greatly from the coverage of the competition and I would really recommend chefs to enter this challenging and rewarding competition.’
The Isle of Man Student Chef of the Year competition for students on hospitality and catering courses at the University College Isle of Man will also complement these contests.
In June, students will cook up their favourite dishes and two will then continue through to the finals at the Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival in September.
Competition sponsors, Robinson’s, will also award £250, a trophy and a certificate to the winner of this competition.
Chefs and amateur cooks can obtain entry forms from the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture – call 687520, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gov.im/foodanddrink. The closing date for entries is 15 May. Nominations from the public can also be sent to the above.