CORNWALL’S finest up and coming chefs served up their best dishes last week, as the county’s first ever Master Chef was finally unveiled.
After eight weeks of stiff competition, roasts, reductions and careful seasoning, Adam Gerrish was named champion at a glamorous awards ceremony at Penwith College in Penzance on Thursday night.
The 32-year-old, from Somerset, is a sous chef at the highly acclaimed Boscundle Manor in St Austell and said he was “overwhelmed”.
“I feel amazing,” he said. “I can’t believe it. I really wasn’t expecting this.
“I’m in complete shock. I was up against some really great chefs.”
Mr Gerrish was in fact voted out in the first round of the competition, but was given a second chance after the entrant who went through pulled out.
“I did a quick-fire round - I really had to up my game,” said the culinary champion.
“It was a hard eight weeks but it’s been a brilliant experience. I’ve learnt so much and had great support from my head chef.”
Mr Gerrish, who said he hopes to get a place of his own at some point, cooked a red mullet chowder, pigeon two ways and a ginger cake with lime and creme fraiche sorbet to secure the title.
Ben Stevens, who runs hospitality business Delicate Trade and is behind the competition, said Mr Gerrish is a deserving winner - but added every finalist produced “Rosette quality food”.
He said Cornwall Master Chef was all about highlighting the county’s future stars and celebrating the industry.
“In Cornwall we have so much nice food and so many talented chefs - the standards have gone through the roof” he said.
“I thought it would be really nice to focus on the transfer of skills - that’s why it’s all about the sous chefs.
“We’ve had some amazing competitors who have really put themselves out there.”
Mr Stevens presented Mr Gerrish with a £1,000 prize and trophy from Stevens Cornish Slate in Redruth on the night, which saw guests, judges and chefs gather to enjoy bubbly and canapes.
The contest was judged by a number of leading industry professionals from across Cornwall, who found themselves sampling the creations of Roswarne Manor’s Craig Tuxworth, Lee Trevena of Merchant’s Manor and Andy Melville from the Scarlet Hotel.
Every round was filmed by students and aired on the Cornwall Channel.