CORNWALL HEAD CHEF MAKES FINALS IN TOP COMPETITION
PUBLISHED: 15:39 24 October 2014 | UPDATED: 13:07 30 August 2017
The head chef at Merchants Manor Brasserie South West Chef of the Year competition
The head chef at Merchants Manor Brasserie, Dale McIntosh, has made it through to the finals of the prestigious South West Chef of the Year competition after competing in the semi-finals.
McIntosh, who was the only chef from Cornwall to even make it through to the semi-finals, competed against seven other professional chefs from across the south west to earn his coveted place in the final.
The semi-finals tested the chefs’ abilities and challenged them to create and cook two dishes using prescribed ingredients of mackerel and lamb from the region. Each chef was given one and a half hours to cook and prepare three servings of their starter and main. The dishes were presented to an expert panel of judges: Michael Caines MBE, Paul Ainsworth, Neil Haydock, Peter Gorton and Matt Mason.
On the semi-final day McIntosh impressed the judges with his starter of three way mackerel’, a dish presenting the local delicacy scorched, confit and tartare accompanied by an impressive horseradish ice cream. The main course was a sumptuous dish of braised neck of Suffolk lamb cooked fricassee with root vegetables served with smoked bacon and squash puree. Many of the ingredients were sourced from the local suppliers used by McIntosh in the Brasserie including Westcountry Fruit Sales’ Canara Farm and Primrose Herd.
McIntosh will compete alongside three other finalists on Monday October 27 at Exeter College. The winner will be announced at a glittering awards dinner in the evening.
The finals will test the chefs even harder on their skill, creativity in cooking and knowledge of regional produce. Unlike the semi-finals the chefs will not be told about ingredients in advance of the finals. For the nail-biting finale they will have two and a half hours to write their menu and produce a three-course meal.
'I am absolutely thrilled to be through to the finals – it’s the biggest competition I’ve ever taken part in and certainly a highlight of my professional career,' says Dale. 'I was naturally very nervous on the day of the semi-finals but was confident that I had, to the best of my capabilities, created a couple of great dishes. There was a great friendly rivalry between the chefs on the day but an undisputed common passion: creating simply great dishes using the region’s most special produce. I am incredibly excited about the next round and making it this far in the competition.'
Dale, who has more than 15 years’ experience in the kitchen took the helm at Merchants Manor Brasserie in January 2013 and is hoping to add South West Chef of the Year to his list of accolades which include three-time finalist and winner of the Cornish Challenge.