Chef and waiter contests heat up in Food Awards

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THESE are some of the best waiters and chefs in MK – but who is your favourite?

This week Milton Keynes Citizen can reveal two more nominations for the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards Chef of the Year contest, along with the first two candidates in the best waiter/waitress category.

Mark Austin, from the The Swan Salford, and Saj Khan, the head chef at the Calcutta Brasserie, will contest the top chef award, along with Chicheley Hall head chef Terry Pritchard, The Woburn Brasserie’s sous chef Adam Smith and Kingfisher Country Club head chef Paul Capener.

Mark, who got his whites at Cranfield University, has previously worked at St Michael’s Manor, Fischer’s Baslow Hall in Derbyshire and Luton Hoo.

He even worked as a private chef in a Swiss ski resort before returning to his local at The Swan in Salford.

Saj, 38, has been cooking since he was 14 and was named as the second best Indian chef in the country at the Britain’s Best Indian Chef contest 2011.

He has been head chef at Calcutta Brasserie for three years, having previously opened the Moghul Palace and co-owned the Rajshahi in Woburn.

The Chef of the Year contest will take place at Milton Keynes College at 9am on April 18.

Waiter of the Year contender Francisco Martinez is described as a ‘fantastic individual and great communicator’.

His work at Browns has made him popular with customers and fellow staff members alike.

Fellow contender Andy Findlay has worked at Giraffe for about two years and says his ultimate thrill is the ‘satisfaction of knowing he has made someone’s day’.

MK Food & Leisure Awards, which is backed by the Citizen, aims to honour the best restaurants, pubs, hotels, gyms and destinations in the city, People can vote for their favourite in each category via comment cards found at venues throughout the city or by visiting the awards website.

A five-strong judging panel will then make a final decision. The winners will be announced at a gala event at the Swan Inn in Milton Keynes Village on May 13.