Chefs at Somerset pubs triumph at international culinary competition

Butcombe Pubs & Inns is raising a toast to culinary excellence as two chefs dazzled at the esteemed International Salon Culinaire competition.

Aimie Harley, the senior sous chef at The George Inn, Norton St Philip, clinched the Gold in the 'Pub Chef of the Year' category with her 'Sharing Fish Pie,' while Tom Moore, head chef at the Horse & Groom, Charlton, followed closely with a silver.

Aimie won her well-deserved gold with a ‘Sharing Fish Pie’ made with layers of natural smoked haddock, chalk stream trout, wild garlic and leeks bound in a lemon salt butter shortcrust. Aimie served the pie with crispy Hasselback potatoes, an assortment of sea herbs, kale and baby leeks and finished it with a white wine, trout roe caviar and chive cream, split with leek oil.

Aimie said: “I’m elated and overjoyed to have won Gold, having never competed in any cooking competition before. I was eager to see how I would stack up against other chefs and deal with the pressure of cooking in a live theatre so I feel very honoured to be crowned Pub Chef of the Year.”

International Salon Culinaire, held at London’s ExCel, is staged to promote and encourage talent within the UK hospitality community and to raise the bar in culinary skills year after year. The event provides a platform for seasoned chefs to showcase their talent and nurtures the chefs of the future as they start out in their career.

Alice Bowyer, director of food, Liberation Group said: "Congratulations to both Aimie and Tom. We are delighted to have these talented individuals taking two of the three top positions in this prestigious competition. Aimie showed real creativity and flair with her incredible fish pie which we’ll be adding to the menu in our pubs.

“We are so proud to have such incredible talent in our kitchens. They constantly work hard to innovate and elevate, producing dishes that are loved by our guests every day. It’s an honour to be working with such talented chefs and to be supporting their career development at Butcombe Pubs & Inns."

Chefs from around the UK and beyond showcased their skills and creativity to a prestigious judging panel of over 70 industry professionals. International Salon Culinaire is considered one of the world’s top competitions and, dating back to 1902, has launched the careers of many of the world’s finest chefs.

Earlier this year The George Inn was crowned Best Pub in Somerset at this year’s National Pub & Bar Awards.