College student named Chef of the Year

College student named Chef of the Year

College student named Chef of the Year  
Date Published:

Hospitality Management student Annmarie Beattie has been named Chef of the Year at her employer’s inaugural Chef d’Fantastic competition.

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 creative."
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.