Landlord and head chef, Gordon Stott, at The Sun Inn, Dummer, Hampshire, is searching once again for the next generation of culinary talent at Basingstoke College of Technology.
Three students on the Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Professional Cookery will compete to win by cooking a main dish for 30 diners with a budget of £40. Guests will pay what they feel each dish is worth with all proceeds going to Ark Cancer Centre Charity, based in Basingstoke.
In light of last year’s report by VisitEngland which highlighted the shortage of skilled chefs in the UK, especially in the South East (46%) where The Sun Inn is based, Gordon is keen to promote the advantages of working in the pub industry to local, aspiring chefs.
Having taken over as landlord and head chef at the age of 20, Gordon is a positive example of what can be achieved. So far this year, 25-year-old Gordon has been named as a finalist in two nationwide competitions which aim to promote the industry: the inaugural Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year Award, and the UK’s ‘chefs Oscars’, the Craft Guild of Chefs ‘Pub Chef of the Year’ award.
Gordon believes, now more than ever, that professional chefs should find ways to inspire young people to enter the industry. He says: “Over the years we have employed a number of ex-BCoT students for various roles and we want this to continue. It’s important for aspiring chefs to gain experience while training and see what the industry is like so they are well-prepared. Yes, it can be hard work, but it’s also very rewarding.
“There are a lot of opportunities for dedicated individuals who are prepared to put in the work. As our business is expanding considerably in 2016, it’s always good to keep an eye out for fresh, local talent too.”
Adam Harty, chef lecturer at Basingstoke College of Technology comments: “Gordon has employed our former students for a number of years now, and having these close links with him and The Sun Inn is a benefit to our learners at all levels. The competition this year has inspired our current level 3 diploma students to improve their critical thinking skills to ensure that they are standing out from the crowd.”
For more information about The Sun Inn visit www.suninndummer.com or call 01256 397234.