Chefs battle it out to be named the best in Suffolk

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A cook-off took place in Bury St Edmunds this week as part of the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2019.

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Six talented chefs from Suffolk went head to head earlier this week in a bid to be named Chef of the Year in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2019.

The chefs competed in a cook-off in the kitchens of West Suffolk College’s Edmund’s restaurant, watched over by eagle-eyed judges Galton Blackiston of Michelin-starred Morston Hall in Norfolk, chef and cookery teacher Emma Crowhurst and Didier Piot of category sponsor Fisher and Woods.

The chefs who participated are Sean Melville of Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa, Grant Newland of The King’s Arms Haughley, Dave Wall of The Unruly Pig, Luke Bailey of Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Chandramauli Dwivedi of The Turks Head, and Jon Jones of Hollow Trees Farm. They were asked to prepare three courses using seasonal, local produce wherever possible.

The menus they cooked for our judges were:

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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Sean: To start, seared scallops with lobster ragout and salsa verde. In the middle, sauteed fillet and braised belly of local Denham Estate lamb with clotted cream dauphinoise, spring vegetables and sorrel with a redcurrant jus. To finish Sean made apple creme brulee, Granny Smith jus and textures of apple.

Grant: A starter of Three Little Pigs – tenderloin of Blythburgh pork, black pudding puree, pork crumb, Rosanna onion veloute, pickled rhubarb and red vein sorrel. This was followed by Brill’iant coast line of East Anglia, which saw a pan-roasted fillet of brill served with samphire, warm tartare, potato galette, oyster emulsion, salsify crisps and crispy capers. To finish was passion fruit curd parfait, dark chocolate sorbet, white chocolate snow, and pine nut and cocoa nib brittle.

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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Dave: Octopus with nero dressing, Suffolk chorizo and nduja tortellini, burrata and fennel salad started Dave’s offering. This was followed by a duo of Dingley Dell pork. Tenderloin ballontine with Fruit Pig black pudding, wrapped in pancetta, braised cheek croustillant, smoked salt-baked celeriac and pickled apple puree. And to finish, a salted caramel custard tart with vanilla-infused milk puree and honeycomb.

Luke: Luke began with tempura Pinneys oyster, pulled skate wing, Lane Farm pancetta, foraged sea herbs, capers, golden raisin and brown butter emulsion. To follow he produced a molasses-glazed Gressingham duck breast with crispy duck heart, Moroccan spiced Hodmedods black badger beans, three cornered garlic, charred sprouting broccoli, cumin roasted heritage carrots, pickled walnut and Pedro Ximinez jus. He finished with Sicilian lemon and elderflower curd tart with glazed rhubarb, whipped ginger and mascarpone mousse.

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Chandramauli: To start was Tea and Biscuits – slow cooked Suffolk oxtail on a crispy savoury biscuit with lightly spiced beef stock consommé tea. Then the chef cooked Sutton Hoo chicken three ways – tandoori spiced leg with green mango chutney, tarragon poached breast with truffle cream, and tamarind wings, served with tapioca hash and wilted amaranth. To finish was a Suffolk rhubarb panna cotta with white chocolate crumb and a tonka bean hot chocolate shot.

Jon: Jon began with Suffolk Scotch quail’s egg made with the farm’s own pork meat, served with home grown sprouting broccoli and Suffolk Mustard hollandaise. He followed with thyme and garlic roasted rump of Hollow Trees lamb, with chargrilled hispi cabbage, celeriac and cauliflower puree, potato fondant and lamb sauce. To finish there was Bramley apple and frangipane tart with clotted cream custard and home grown rhubarb puree.

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dessert from Luke Bailey form the Salthouse Harbour Hotel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

From the six, four finalists have been selected, and these will be announced on April 10.

If you’d like to book a seat at the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2019, tickets are now available for the event. The black tie dinner takes place on Monday, April 29 at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall and the ticket price of £75 plus VAT includes a drinks reception and three course meal with wine, followed by the announcements of the winner. To book, email Stephanie Griffin.

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