South Lodge Hotel chef in Sussex Young Chef of the Year final

Sussex Young Chef of the Year grand finalist Ricki Weston
Sussex Young Chef of the Year grand finalist Ricki Weston

A chef from South Lodge Hotel, Lower Beeding, is one of just three to have reached the final of this year’s Sussex Young Chef of the Year competition.

Ricki Weston, 21, took part in a ‘cook-off’ at the Amex Stadium kitchens on Tuesday October 29.

The chefs, who were nominated by public votes and then shortlisted based on their written applications, had to prepare and produce a full three-course menu based on seasonal, locally sourced Sussex ingredients in only 90 minutes.

They were asked to create a menu that would be suitable to serve at a gala dinner to local dignitaries in celebration of the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club being chosen as one of the match venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

A statement from the organisers said: “South Lodge Hotel’s young chef, Ricki Weston has a superb eye for detail and this was certainly a factor that got the judges attention in this competition.

“Creating stunning plates of food, Ricki’s fantastic starter of perfectly cooked mackerel with a beetroot, horseradish and pear garnish got him off to a great start.

“He chose South Downs Game venison to follow, served with parsnip, purple carrot and a dark chocolate sauce. To finish, he prepared a delightful spiced sponge with apple, caramel and pistachio nuts.”

Joining Ricki in the grand final line up will be Joseph Otway, 23, from The Ginger Pig in Brighton and Hove, and Nick Bennet, 25, from The Curlew Restaurant in Bodiam, East Sussex.