Annmarie, who studies the HNC in Hospitality Management at
Northumberland College, impressed judges with her tarragon chicken
and seasonal vegetables followed by an Irish cream cheesecake.
Talented Annmarie, aged 49 from Cramlington, who works as a chef
in first class services on board East Coast's high speed trains was
one of only five chefs to make it through to the live final from
over 50 entries.
The five finalists were selected for their menu choice, food
safety standards and their personal approach to their craft as
demonstrated in the first round of the competition. The finalist's
task was to cook a two-course menu in one and a half hours for a
panel of judges using locally sourced ingredients and working
within a limited budget.
As well as winning a trophy, champagne and shopping vouchers,
Annmarie's winning dishes will be introduced to East Coast's
on-board menu next year.
Former Army Chef, Annmarie, said: "I've got more than 1,000
cookery books but I've tried this recipe before and it always goes
down well. It all went better than I expected, which I was
surprised at considering the short time we had to prepare and
produce the dishes.
Annmarie added: "When I found out I had won, I was numb. I never
win anything. I can't wait to be cooking my menu on board the
trains next year. My course really helped me to cost the meals and
to win this competition.
"Once I finish the course, I want to progress to the HND in
Hospitality Management and then train to become a teacher so I can
pass my knowledge and experience onto trainee chefs."
Students from Manor Church of England Academy, where the
competition was held, joined East Coast's Commercial and Customer
Services Director Peter Williams and Rail Gourmet's Executive Chef
David Small to judge the meals.
East Coast's Catering Product Manager Ian Allison said: "The
five shortlisted chefs have all worked extremely hard to reach the
final stage. The strict budget and time available for them to
create their dishes means they've all had to be extremely
The competition was held in memory of a former East Coast Chef,
Des Welford, who sadly passed away this year. Annmarie dedicated
her award to Des.