Press Information 11th July 2011
PEANUTS AND A PINT WINS ROBINSONS CHEF AWARD
Top Lake District chef Craig Sherrington left behind a stellar career in leading restaurant and hotel kitchens to run his own village pub and spend more time with his wife Louise and their ten-month-old baby daughter Georgia.
But he proved he’s not lost his master’s touch by emerging winner of the ‘Have you got the Bottle?’ Chef’s Challenge run by Robinsons, the independent family brewer, seeking the creation of exciting new dishes using the company’s beers as ingredients.
The competition was aimed at encouraging innovation across the brewer’s tenanted estate in Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire North Wales and Derbyshire. Spearheaded by BBC Television’s Something for the Weekend celebrity chef Simon Rimmer and Robinsons’ Catering Consultant Christian Whittleworth, the challenge reached its climax as nine finalists prepared their dishes for the judges – including Simon and Christian – at the Derby Arms, Treales, near Kirkham in Lancashire.
Craig, 34, who trained at Lancaster & Morecambe College, developed his considerable skills working for two years under two-Michelin star chef David Everitt-Matthias at the prestigious Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham, followed by two years working for Eric Chavot, also a two-Michelin star chef at the renowned Capital Hotel, Knightsbridge. As head chef at Storrs Hall Hotel, Windermere, Craig gained two AA Rosettes for his talents.
Now the landlord and chef at the General Burgoyne, Great Urswick, near Ulverston, Craig has achieved his dream of working for himself and having the freedom to experiment with local produce to create new dishes to suit his customers, taking the Burgoyne to the next level in pub dining.
He said: “It was time to move on and I’ve really enjoyed the last 12 months. The pace is different and if I’d still been in the hotel kitchen I would not have had very much time to spend with little Georgia.”
In a final that saw competing recipes matching Robinsons’ Dizzy Blonde ale with hake fillets and Unicorn Bitter with the “great British pie”, Craig came up with a dish that stunned the judges, the audience…and his rivals. His “Peanuts and a Pint” comprised a dessert combining vanilla pannacotta, salted caramel and peanut parfait and jelly spiked with Robinsons’ Chocolate Tom strong ale.
Simon Rimmer enthused, “Craig’s winning dish was one of the best deserts I’ve tasted in a long while. It was innovative with a great combination of flavours and the salted caramel was perfectly balanced with the peanut parfait”.
His first prize is a two night stay at a four-star Lakeland Hotel and his recipe will be included – with those of Simon Rimmer, Christian Whittleworth and the other finalists – in a cookery book and DVD due for publication in October. Chris was delighted with the event, “The response to the Chef’s Challenge across our pub estate has been phenomenal and not only does this reflect our drive for innovation in beer and food matching, but also showcases the excellence of Chef’s in our pubs”
Craig said: “It’ll be lovely to be in a hotel and have someone else do the cooking!”
Proceeds from the sale of tickets to the final were donated by the Derby Arms to Derian House, a local children’s hospice.
Judges and Sponsors
The judges were: Simon Rimmer, Paul Robinson, Rufus Carter (patchwork), Mark Loynton (villeroy and boch/taste north west). Robinson's would like to thank their Sponsors who were: Michael McDonald fruit and veg. C and G Wholesale Essential Cuisine Tibard Chefs ware Villeroy and Boch Patchwork Pate Taste North West Windsor Food Service
For further information please contact Carmen on Carmen.Byrne@frederic-robinson.co.uk
or call 07814 394 965
Photograph 1: Craig Sherrington from the General Burgoyne in Great Urswick , Cumbria
Photograph 2: The winning dish: ‘Peanuts and a Pint’
Photograph 3: Simon Rimmer and Christian Whittleworth with the finalists
For further information please contact Carmen.Byrne@frederic-robinson.co.uk or call 07814 394965