SOUTH Cumbrian culinary star Darren Comish has been named Chef of the Year 2015, just three months after making it to the finals of MasterChef The Professionals.
Mr Comish, head chef at the Oak Bank Hotel in Grasmere, who lives in Ulverston, picked up the coveted title at the annual Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards.
A number of South Cumbrian producers and eateries were also praised for putting outstanding Cumbrian food and drink on the map.
Brewer Jon Kyme at Stringers Brewery of Ulverston, which won the Product Innovation Award and was shortlisted in the Best Small Producer category, said: “There’s a lot of competition so everyone who got onto the shortlist should be proud. For a small business like ours, these awards are really useful because we have a limited marketing budget so it’s a really useful way for a small business to get recognised.”
The ceremony is the highlight of the food calendar in Cumbria, with Cumbria-born Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton on hand to announce and dish out the awards.
Richard Eccles, editor/publishing director of Cumbria Life, said: “We’re delighted that our awards are going from strength to strength, with more than 500 reader nominations for 150 different businesses, and a great crop of new faces in addition to longer-established places staying at the top of their game.”
The ceremony was held at Kendal College and sponsored by Made in Cumbria. South Cumbria winners were:
Restaurant of the Year – Old Stamp House, Ambleside.
Hotel Restaurant of the Year – Linthwaite House, Windermere.
Dining Pub of the Year – The Punch Bowl, Crosthwaite.
Food & Drink Pub of the Year – The Wheatsheaf, Brigsteer, Kendal.
Chef of the Year – Darren Comish, Oak Bank Hotel, Grasmere.
Best Café – Hazelmere Café and Bakery, Grange.
Marketing Innovation Award – Hawkshead Relish Company, Hawkshead. Product Innovation Award – Stringers Beer, Ulverston.
Best Newcomer – Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside.
Outstanding Service Award – Sam Ward and L’Enclume, Cartmel.
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