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Winner Chef of the Year at the Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2015

PUBLISHED: 00:30 11 September 2015 | UPDATED: 20:08 10 November 2015

Drakes: Chris Wheelhouse, Steve Drake, Andrew Maxwell

Drakes: Chris Wheelhouse, Steve Drake, Andrew Maxwell

Pete Gardner Photography

This award aims to recognise those who show an exceptional awareness of produce and have the knowledge and expertise to use their ingredients to create sensational, seasonal menus

Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2015Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards 2015

Sponsored by Hot and Cold Equipment

Winner: Steve Drake, Drake's

“I visited Eric and Dan last week and was somewhat stunned by the quality,” said judge Andrew Maxwell. “Eric’s cooking is classical but excellent… he clearly runs a great restaurant at The French Table, with a fabulous local following and a team who love and respect him.

We followed this up with a visit to Britten’s in Guildford. Dan produced a meal which showed impressive skill across a wide range of abilities – modern techniques and twists on classic ideas, out of the box thinking and a restaurant which (as a relative newcomer to Surrey) would clearly benefit massively from winning this category. Where I was most impressed though, was that for all the modern ideas and original cooking, Dan served me the best Tarte Tatin I have ever eaten. The most classical cooking, executed with perfection.

I was very torn between Dan and Eric. But then, yesterday, I went to Drake's.

Steve runs a tough kitchen, although I do believe he has mellowed a bit and I understand he now has a solid team in his kitchen who have been with him for a while. This is a good sign. His cooking is simply a different league to Eric and Dan and for these reasons, Steve is this year’s winner of the Chef of the Year award.”

Highly commended: Eric Guignard, The French Table

Highly commended: Daniel Britten, Britten's

 

Find out more about the finalists.

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