After a gruelling six months of training and skills days, the Four Pillars Hotel group has finally announced the winner of their Young Chef of the Year competition, as the Witney site’s 21 year-old Chris Smith.
The competition was open to under 25’s with less than three years experience, but Chris still managed to beat off some tough rivals in a two-hour cook off held at his own hotel. Six chefs, one from each of the chain’s sites, were asked to create a luxury four-course meal, but despite creating an impressive main dish consisting of rack of lamb, fondant potatoes, roasted vegetables and a red wine jus, the youngster still didn’t expect to win.
“I was quite shocked to be fair,” he said. “I’m only 21 and I’ve still got a lot to learn, though I am looking to move on and up to bigger hotels and bigger restaurants in the future.”
Charles Holmes, Four Pillars Chief Executive, was one of the judges on the panel, and was very impressed by the dishes his chefs produced. He said: “I am very confident about the future of our kitchens given the extremely high standard of food I have seen prepared today.”
The group is now recruiting trainees for next year’s contest. To apply, write to Katherine Swingler, Group HR Manager, Four Pillars Hotels, Olney House, Ducklington Lane, Witney, OX28 4EX.