Top Basingstoke chef’s recipe for helping young talent and a good cause

After the success of last year’s Master Chef competition with students at Basingstoke College of Technology, award-winning pub chef Gordon Stott is back in search of 2016’s rising culinary talent.

The 25-year-old landlord and head chef at award-winning gastro pub, The Sun Inn, Dummer, is giving three trainee chefs the chance to compete in a cooking competition on Wednesday, June 29, that will raise money for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

The finalists will cook a dish of their choice for 30 diners with a budget of £40. Guests will donate what they feel the meal is worth, with all proceeds going towards the charity’s £5million appeal.

The winning chef will be crowned The Sun Inn Master Chef 2016 and receive a coveted prize provided by Nisbets, the UK’s leading catering equipment supplier, plus a meal for two at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Having taken on the role of landlord and head chef at the age of 20, Gordon is keen to promote the advantages of working in the pub industry for young people. 

So far this year, Gordon has been 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.

He said: “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. I’m looking forward to seeing what this year’s students can do.”

It is hoped that the diners who come along to the evening in The Restaurant at BCoT will start from a benchmark payment of £20-a-head.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees said: “I am grateful to Gordon and the team at The Sun Inn, and the participating chefs at BCoT, for supporting Ark Cancer Centre Charity through this fine dining event. I am sure that those attending will be treated to a marvellous dining experience, and I am confident that their show of support for the food that is served, and the charity, will be reflected in the donations that they make.”

Places for diners at this special event, which will get underway at 6.30pm on June 29, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They can be reserved by contacting Christabel Saunders, at Bells & Whistles PR, by Friday, May 27. Her email is christabel@bellsandwhistlespr.com