Press Information                                                                                                11th July 2011


Winning Chef has the bottle

Winning Chef has the bottle

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Independent family-owned brewer Frederic Robinson set out to show that beer can be a key ingredient in restaurant-standard cooking – and were rewarded by a range of new and innovative dishes created by highly skilled chefs.

The Stockport-based brewer set ‘Have you got the bottle?’, a chef’s challenge 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.

Peanuts and a Pint

Peanuts and a Pint

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The winning dish, “Peanuts and a Pint”, was a stunning dessert comprising vanilla pannacotta, salted caramel and peanut parfait and Robinsons’ Chocolate Tom jelly, created by Craig Sherrington, landlord and chef at the General Burgoyne in Great Urswick, near Ulverston, Cumbria. Craig, who honed his skills in a brace of two-Michelin starred kitchens in London and Cheltenham, was head chef at Storrs Hall, Windermere before realising his dream to go it alone.

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”.

Second placed Simon Martin of the Verdin Arms, Wimboldsley, near Middlewich in Cheshire, used Chocolate Tom jus with his roast loin of venison with beetroot fondant, parsnip puree and braised red cabbage. Simon will shortly take up the post of chef-de-partie in Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Restaurant in Melbourne, Australia.

Joint third were Louise Heal of the Caledonia in Ashton-under-Lyne and Daniel Wrigley of the Derby Arms who was cooking on home turf. Louise braised her black beef in Ginger Tom and served it with Bury black pudding and champ and Dan’s “Great British Pie” featured beef marinated in Old Tom and Unicorn bitter in his gravy.

Simon Rimmer and Christian Whittleworth with the finalists

Simon Rimmer and Christian Whittleworth with the finalists

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All the finalists’ recipes, along with others created by Simon Rimmer and Christian Whittleworth, will be featured 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 Chefs 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

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 or call 07814 394965


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