Press Information                                                                                                11th July 2011


Dan's got it bottled

Dan's got it bottled

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Talented young chef Dan Wrigley, 29, reckons he was the BIG winner in a prestigious cookery competition – even though he finished joint third.

For he won his own weight in beer as a prize.

“It’ll keep me going for quite a while,” said Dan, who weighs in at about 19 to 20 stone. “But joking apart, I’m very pleased with third place because the competition was very, very tough.”

The winner was a former head chef at a leading Lake District hotel and second place was claimed by a chef departing for Melbourne in the summer to work for Gordon Ramsay.

Have you got the bottle? Chef’s Challenge was 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 Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria, 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, near Kirkham in Lancashire.

It was home turf for Dan, who has worked full time at the village pub in Treales for the last 12 months.

Great British Pie

Great British Pie

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In a final that saw competing recipes matching Robinsons’ Dizzy Blonde ale with hake fillets and Chocolate Tom paired with roast loin of venison, Dan came up with his version of “The Great British Pie”, featuring not one Robinson’s beer, but two. The ingredients included fillet of beef marinated in Robinsons’ Old Tom strong ale and a gravy containing Unicorn Bitter. 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


Photograph 1:   Dan Wrigley from the Derby Arms, Treales, near Kirkham in Lancashire

Photograph 2:    The Great British Pie

Photograph 3:   Simon Rimmer  and Christian Whittleworth with the finalists


For further information please contact or call 07814 394 965


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