This month, Hotel du Vin hosted its own Chef of the Year competition to recognise some of the boutique brand’s top chefs.
Taking place at Hotel du Vin Birmingham, the event was created to develop and nurture junior chefs, helping them to grow and experiment in the kitchen.
The 2015 competition saw five finalists from all over the UK come together, before Mauro Loffredo of Hotel du Vin Brighton was crowned the winner.
He said: “The competition gave me the opportunity to demonstrate everything I have learned whilst working for Hotel du Vin. Despite the fact we were competing against each other, we felt like a team working alongside each other in the kitchen. Winning the competition is such an honour and a great feeling of achievement but I never thought I’d actually win!”
In second place was Lenka Berkova, Hotel du Vin St Andrews Hotel, while Tom Owen, Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells come in third place.
As part of their prizes, the three winners will be given a mentor who will guide them over the next 12 months, as well as being given the opportunity to join cooking teams for major events such as the Henley Regatta.
The annual competition is open to junior chefs from across any of Hotel du Vin’s 16 hotels.
Contestants take part in a timed contest in which they must prepare a three course meal from a prescribed list of ingredients.
Lindsay Southward, group director of people & development, Malmaison & Hotel Du Vin, commented: “Young people are crucial not only to Hotel du Vin’s success but to the success of our industry. They are a key part of making our hotels special, delivering memorable experiences for our guests. We therefore take the responsibility for our people very seriously at every stage of their career. The Chef Competition and Chef Academy are great ways for us to be able to support their development and reward enthusiasm, dedication and talent”.