Judges for the competition, which is now in its 34th year, said that Keown was “wholly inspirational” and commended him on his creativity, flair and presentation skills.
The eight finalists, who were all under the age of 27 and working in Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ establishments across the UK, had to create a three course meal from a mystery market box of ingredients in three hours.
Keown produced a menu of pan fried mackerel, cockles, shallot puree and beetroot to start, marinated duck breast, pomme puree, wild mushroom ravioli, butternut squash and chorizo sauce for the main course, followed by aromatic poached pear, dark chocolate rice pudding and hazelnut brittle for dessert.
The menus were judged on presentation, originality and taste. The judges said Keown won first place due to his menu’s “complex flavour combinations and exceptional execution”.
The runner up was Iain More of Swinton Park Hotel, Ripon with Thomas Bally of Hunstrete House, Bath, taking third place.
“Any competitive environment is daunting to the best of us, particularly with such an exceptional panel of judges to impress,” said Chairman of Judges, Paul Gayler.
"All participants in this competition should be applauded for their poise and exceptional cooking skills under pressure. On behalf of all the judges, I would like to congratulate Garret and all other finalists, all of whom all displayed impressive flair and culinary knowledge. It was incredibly difficult for us to make a decision”.
Hospitality’s next generation
Philip Evins, Bailli Délégué stressed the importance of competitions such as the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Chef and Young Sommelier Awards, saying these are integral to encouraging the next generation of the hospitality industry.
“We’re all too aware of the importance of talented and exceptional young chefs coming through the ranks, in keeping the British hospitality industry fresh, dynamic and successful.
“The young talent displayed in this competition was extremely impressive and if these competitors are indicative of the young chefs currently working in our restaurants, the future of our industry certainly looks bright.”
Garret will now go on to represent Great Britain against other national winners at the International Rôtisseurs competition, which takes place in Istanbul in September.