Press Information                                                                                                11th July 2011


Simon's Slice of Success

Simon's Slice of Success

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Talented young chef Simon Martin, 21, reckons he can cut it as a member of Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen brigade at the television celebrity’s new restaurant Maze in Melbourne, Australia.

Especially since Simon, who works at the Verdin Arms, Wimboldsley near Middlewich, will be deploying his new state of the art kitchen knives when he moves Down Under. They were his prize in the ‘Have you got the bottle?’ Chef’s Challenge, run by Robinsons the Stockport-based independent family brewer, seeking the creation of exciting new dishes using the company’s beers as ingredients.

Simon Rimmer and Christian Whittleworth with the finalists

Simon Rimmer and Christian Whittleworth with the finalists

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The competition was aimed at encouraging innovation across the brewer’s tenanted estate in Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, North Wales and Derbyshire. Spearheaded by BBC Television’s Something for the Weekend celebrity chef Simon Rimmer and Robinsons’ Catering Development Manager 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.

Simon, two days short of his 21st birthday on the night, started his training at 16 and joined his parents Steve and Karen when they took over the Cheshire pub a year ago. This summer, however, Simon is heading for Victoria to become Kitchen Nightmares’ star Ramsay’s chef-de-partie. “I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “It’ll be a major step up in my career.”

In a final that saw competing recipes matching Robinsons’ Dizzy Blonde ale with hake fillets and Unicorn Bitter with the “great British pie”, Simon came up with a dish that took second place in a tough competition won by the former head chef of a leading Lake District hotel.

Roast Venison with Chocolate Tom Sauce

Roast Venison with Chocolate Tom Sauce

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His prizewinning dish combined roast loin of venison with a sauce spiked with Robinson’s flavoured strong ale, Chocolate Tom. The recipe will be included – with those of Simon Rimmer, Christian Whittleworth and the other finalists – in a new cookery book 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”

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:  Simon Martin from the Verdin Arms, Wimboldsley near Middlewich

Photograph 2:    Roast loin of venison with Chocolate Tom sauce

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


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