A trio of Cumbrian chefs have made it through to the finals of the second annual Olive Chef Awards.
The awards first launched in 2018 are designed to salute the UK’s unheralded chefs. These are chefs who had been quietly excelling in the background. Most you won’t recognise, but they’ve been quietly bringing culinary joy to the nation through the food they create.
They are now stepping out from behind the curtain into the limelight because thousands of people up and down the UK have been voting for their food heroes in the Olive Chef Awards.
Unlike most restaurant awards you’ll have encountered, these awards are all about the people, rather than the places. They are about sharing the stories of hard-working chefs that have dedicated their lives to having a positive impact on the way we eat and what we eat.
This year the judges are delving even deeper the kitchens of these local food heroes to find Britain’s ultimate professional cooks and are visiting each in turn to hear their unique stories.
Two of the Cumbrian trio find themselves in the Innovator category. The judges are looking are looking for a chef who’s seriously doing something truly different from everyone else in this category…
Cumbria’s two Innovators are Nina Matsunaga, from the Black Bull Hotel, Sedbergh and Daniel McGeorge, from Rothay Manor, Ambleside, both of whom are pitted against the likes of Gareth Ward from Ynyshir in Wales and Ramel Scully from Scully St. James’s in London.
Our third Cumbrian none other than Aidan Monks of Lovingly Artisan, at Plumgarth’s, Kendal, finds himself in the Best Baker category. This is a category populated by people that exist on only a few hours of sleep a night. Artisans who obsess over lamination, who’ve nurtured a sourdough starter like it was a member of their family for decades, and who leave you wanting more of their bread… Aidan fellow finalists include the likes of James Thorn, from Wild Bread Bakehouse, in Kent, Emily Cuddeford, from Twelve Triangles Bakery, in Edinburgh and Kimberley Bell, from Small Food Bakery, in Nottingham.
Now all that remains is for the illustrious judges to visit each of the finalists to discover their unique story and impress… the winners will be announced once the panel reconvene to discuss each chef’s story later this month…