The finalists 2017…..

The nail-biting and extremely close semi-finals of the Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice Chef categories of South West Chef of the Year 2017 were held at Exeter College on Saturday 30th September.  Our judges were extremely impressed with the standard of cooking across all three categories and after careful deliberation, they finally reached a decision and selected their finalists for this year’s competition.

Many congratulations to everyone who took part – the skills on display were an absolute credit to all involved, making the judging process extremely difficult!

A big thank you goes to our judges for the semi-finals:

  • Michael Caines MBE
  • Stephane Delourme
  • Niall Keating
  • Matt Mason
  • Jo Rees
  • Seth Ward
  • Ian Webber
  • Elly Wentworth
  • John Wheeler
  • Michael Wignall

Judges were divided between the categories – thank you to Matt Mason who chaired the panel judging the professional categories, joined by Michael Wignall, Seth Ward, John Wheeler and Jo Rees.

Thank you to Stephane Delourme for chairing the panel for the Student/Apprentice category, joined by Ian Webber, Elly Wentworth and Niall Keating.

Michael Caines was overseeing judging without direct input.

Many thanks to all the team at Exeter College and the students of the Michael Caines Academy who provided valuable help throughout the day.

All semi-finalists prepared a two-course meal incorporating compulsory ingredients kindly supplied by MC Kelly and Kingfisher Brixham.

Lead Sponsor: Bidfood

Many congratulations to the successful competitors selected by our judges to return for the final on Wednesday 25th October outlined below:

Professional category finalists

sponsored by Ritter Courivaud and Ritter Fresh

(In alphabetical order)

  • Martin Blake, Senior Sous Chef, The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
  • James Checkley, Sous Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Robert Cox, Head Chef, Tudor Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant, Clearwell, Gloucestershire
  • David Mann, Sous Chef, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

Young Professional category finalists

sponsored by Lympstone Manor and Michael Caines MBE

(In alphabetical order)

  • Claire Andrew, Commis Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Harrison Brockington, Chef de Partie, Grosvenor Hotel, Torquay, Devon
  • Joshua Murphy, Demi Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Paul Wearing, Senior Chef de Partie, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

Student/Apprentice Chef category finalists

sponsored by Nisbets Catering Equipment

Our judges were unable to split competitors in this category and consequently opted to invite five to return for the final!

(In alphabetical order)

  • John Brimicombe, Exeter College and Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon
  • Katie Endicott, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Somerset
  • William Hamzij, Exeter College and Driftwood Hotel, Porscatho, Cornwall
  • Ford Thanyapat Khwanyuen, Truro and Penwith College, Cornwall
  • Eleanor Thuell, Exeter College and Rodean Restaurant, Kenton, Devon

Thank you very much to all of the other competitors who reached the semi-finals, outlined below.  We very much hope you will all enter again next year:

Professional Category

  • Joseph Fallowfield, Sous Chef, Kota Restaurant, Porthleven, Cornwall
  • Jozsef Kuti, Sous Chef, The Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
  • Dale McIntosh, Head Chef, Gylly Beach Café, Falmouth, Cornwall
  • Chris Young, Sous Chef, Buckland Manor, Broadway, Gloucestershire

Young Professional Category

  • Christopher Bartlett, Commis Chef, Two Bridges Hotel, Princetown, Devon
  • James Glover, Chef de Partie, Deer Park Country House Hotel, Honiton, Devon
  • Thomas Herbert, Commis Chef, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Lawrence Snowden, Junior Sous Chef, The Idle Rocks, St Mawes, Cornwall

Student/Apprentice Chef Category

  • Alexander Andrew, City College Plymouth, Devon
  • Jamie Cassidy, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Somerset
  • Mathue Clark, Gloucestershire College, Cheltenham
  • Thomas Greatrix, Gloucestershire College, Cheltenham

The finals of the Home Cook and Junior Chef categories will take place on Saturday 14th October at Ashburton Cookery School. 


The finalists in these categories are as follows:

Home Cook category finalists

sponsored by  Ashburton Cookery School

Selected entrants were invited directly to the final at Ashburton Cookery School

  • Andrew Callaghan, Verwood, Dorset
  • Lucinda Ellicott, Paignton, Devon
  • Emy Mordue, Exeter, Devon (Devon Life Home Cook 2016)
  • Kelly Shannon, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire
  • Sue Stoneman, Exmouth, Devon

Junior category finalists

Semi-finals in this category were held in each of the six counties of the South West during June and July and the winners of each will compete in the final on Saturday 14th October at Ashburton Cookery School

  • Anna West, Penair School, Truro, Cornwall
  • Samantha Taylor-Clarke, Stover School, Newton Abbot, Devon
  • Emily Henson, Bournemouth School for Girls, Dorset
  • Amber Clay, Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
  • Munopa Nhete, Queen’s College, Taunton, Somerset
  • Vikki Pearcey, Lavington School, Market Lavingotn, Wiltshire


Click here for further details of the junior semi-finals and all who competed.

Awards Presentation Evening

The winners of South West Chef of the Year 2017 will be announced at prestigious awards presentation evening on Wednesday 25th October, hosted and sponsored by Exeter Golf and Country Club.

Our awards will be presented following what promises to be an outstanding dinner prepared by three guest chefs including none other than our co-founder and lead judge Michael Caines and two previous winners!

  • Michael Caines MBE - Co-founder and lead judge of South West Chef of the Year and Chef Proprietor of Lympstone Manor, Lympstone, Devon
  • James Mason - South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2015, Head Chef at Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Jamie Coleman - South West Chef of the Year 2016, Head Chef at the Michelin-starred Masons Arms, Knowstone, Devon


Our team of chefs will be supported in the kitchen and front of house by students of the Michael Caines Academy .

Bringing together all of our competitors, judges and sponsors this very special evening is always a unique celebration of the South West’s hospitality industry.  It will begin with a drinks reception with canapés, before enjoying a wonderful three course meal with perfectly matched wines and concluding with the presentation of the 2017 awards.

All are welcome to join us – book your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

If you would like to join us tickets are available soon at £85 each and include a drinks reception and perfectly matched wines with each course.  To make sure you don’t miss out, click here to book your tickets now.

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