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Pub Chef is Tilda Chef of the Year 2014

Pub Chef is Tilda Chef of the Year 2014

The head chef at a popular West London pub has proved his culinary expertise and flair for world cuisine to be crowned Tilda Chef of the Year 2014 - a bi-annual culinary initiative run in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Ian Simpson, from The Grove in Ealing, served up a two-course meal featuring Tilda Rice in both the main course and dessert to impress the judges at the recent culinary competition staged as part of Salon Culinaire at Hotelympia.

Simpson was tasked with preparing, cooking and presenting two portions in under an hour – pitting his skills against nine other chefs who were all challenged to show the versatility of rice, their kitchen expertise and flair for world cuisine.

Ian served up a main course of Dublin bay prawns & shellfish risotto, cockle beignets & tarragon pangritata followed by a dessert of coconut & jasmine rice pudding soufflé, salted honeycomb and pineapple granita.

Mark Lyddy, Tilda's Head of Foodservice, said: “Ian proved a worthy winner in what was once again a very competitive event, which shows the quality of the cooking talent working in the hospitality industry.

“We wanted to put increased focus on world cuisine in line with its recent growth and to discover chefs who are adventurous in terms of the way they use rice in the kitchen. Ian delivered on all counts with a two-course meal that was absolutely sensational, particularly bearing in mind the severe time constraints he and all other competitors were under.”

Steve Munkley, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and head judge at the event said: “Congratulations to Ian on his choice of ingredients, the quality of his cooking and the presentation of his dishes. His two-course meal really showed the versatility of rice while his cooking style also demonstrated his understanding of the way it should be cooked to be served at its best.”  

Ian was presented with the Tilda Chef of the Year Trophy, a medal, framed certificate and commemorative award plate. He also won one night’s accommodation and dinner for two at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington – where Steve Munkley is Executive Head Chef.

The Grove pub in Ealing, which is part of the Metropolitan Pub Company, prides itself on delivering the best in fresh food, drink and service and was entered into the Michelin Guide 2014 – making it one of only a few establishments in the area to be recognised in such a way for the quality of its food.

For recipes using rice, visit

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