Marie Rimmer, MP for St Helens South and Whiston, has nominated local pub chef Craig Sheil from the Bull and Dog, St Helens, for the 2017/18 Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year award.
Chef Craig, who has moved The Bull and Dog up over 70 places on Trip Advisor in just under one year through sheer determination and enterprising commitment, will be judged by an expert panel to decide whether he goes through to the final stages.
The award, sponsored by Nestlé Professional and run by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, will be presented in February at the House of Commons.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to be selected by Marie Rimmer MP, I feel this is a great opportunity not just for myself but St Helens in general,” he said.
“I can’t wait to be given the opportunity to showcase my abilities and progress as a chef to a higher standard,” said Craig who feels like he was born to work in the culinary world as two of his grandparents worked in the profession and he spent much of his childhood behind the scenes of the trade.
The nomination sees Craig join a host of chefs up and down the country compete for the accolade of Pub Chef of the Year from the two categories, Pub Chef and Young Pub Chef of the Year.
Entrants will be judged by an expert panel who will shortlist contenders for the cook-off where they will display their skills to organisers, the BBPA as well as judges from sponsors, Nestlé Professional, the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group and acclaimed TV guest chef presenter and former Michelin star holder, Paul Merrett.
Marie Rimmer MP added: “Industry awards are high praise indeed. It is recognition from peers and competitors that a St Helens chef in a St Helens pub has really outdone themselves and put The Bull and Dog on the map with tasty food, excellent service and friendly faces.
“I hope that Craig Sheil wins and hope everybody takes the opportunity to visit the refreshed pub.”
Brigid Simmonds, chief Executive of the BBPA, said: “With pubs serving around a billion meals each year it is important to recognise the contribution pub chefs make to the eating out experience in this country.
“The outstanding range of culinary options that span from breakfast to evening meals demonstrates the huge wealth of creativity in pub kitchens, big and small.
“Many leading, well-known celebrity chefs have ventured into the pub arena helping to further boost the quality of food in pubs, whilst still making it an affordable treat.
“Our aim is to highlight the talented chefs around the country, help spot future stars and encourage more young people to consider training and working as a chef in a pub.”
George Vezza, Managing Director of sponsors Nestlé Professional said: “Fostering the next generation of talent is something we’re passionate about at Nestlé Professional and we wish all entrants the best of luck.”