Who will be city’s Chef of the Year?

The Swan Inn will host the MK Food & Leisure Awards gala presentation event

The Swan Inn will host the MK Food & Leisure Awards gala presentation event

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THE first three contestants in the Chef of the Year section of the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards have been named.

Chicheley Hall head chef Terry Pritchard, The Woburn Brasserie’s sous chef Adam Smith and Kingfisher Country Club head chef Paul Capener will contest the title, along with five other as yet unnamed chefs.

The Chef of the Year contest will take place at Milton Keynes College at 9am on April 18. All eight finalists will cook a starter and a main course with the assistance of two students from the college, who will act as commi chefs for the morning.

Their creations will be judged by MK College’s Mark Lewis and former Junior MasterChef finalist and Paris House head chef Phil Fanning.

Mr Lewis is well suited for the judging job, having previously worked as a senior pastry chef, a senior confectioner at Sainsbury and a refectory manager at Birmingham College.

He is now one of the enterprise managers for MK College, promoting its facilities and developing opportunities for students.

Michelin Star winning chef Mr Fanning was a finalist in Junior MasterChef in 1997. The following year he took a job as a commis chef at Danesfield House and in 2010 became head chef at Paris House.

The Chef of the Year contest is one of 14 categories in the first ever MK Food & Leisure Awards, which is being backed by the Citizen.

The awards aim to honour the best restaurants, pubs, hotels, gyms and destinations in MK.

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.