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Great food calls for great chefs – let’s get our MPs involved

On 19/10/15 by Rebekah Kendrick (Communications & Campaigns Officer)

This weekend, the Sunday Telegraph reported the success of the Great British roast dinner in pubs across the UK. The article recognised that a top-notch Sunday lunch is the ‘nation’s favourite meal’, and noted that now, people are having to book a table at their local days in advance.

The article pays homage to the incredible range of food in pubs today. Recently the British Roast Dinner Week winner was announced and, unsurprisingly, a pub snapped up the award which celebrates the best of British.

Yet, we are facing a skills shortage. ‘Pub chef’ arguably isn’t the most glamourous title and we as an industry need to help change perceptions. After all, there are pubs up and down the country which have Michelin Stars and we have seen some exceptional chefs who have made their mark in a pub compete in the BBC’s Great British Menu, year after year. And it’s not just a man’s world. This year we also saw the fantastic Eve Townson from Thwaite’s pub, the Eagle and Child, compete.

We should celebrate their excellence and show that the role offers challenges, the opportunity for creative freedom and the chance to serve food that customers can truly be excited about. And this is why the BBPA has launched the Pub Chef Awards (supported by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and sponsored by Nestlé Professional) as a way of celebrating Great British pub food and as a passionate cry for young, creative individuals to become part of a thriving and innovative industry.

The pub industry knows that, although it is still performing well in the dining-out market, it still needs to keep ahead of the game by maintaining high standards and remaining competitive with its food offering. To do that, pubs need to offer quality training – something BBPA member Robinson’s has embraced with its ‘Professional Chefs’ apprenticeship. BBPA has also supported Pub Chef Passion, which aims to break the misconception that you have to work in a top restaurant to excel as a chef. We jointly created a film, which can be watched here.

So, what can you do to get involved? We have created a guide on our website which shows you how you can help get your local nominated for a pub chef award by your local MP. But most importantly, you can head down to your local, food-led pub and enjoy a meal in what is most definitely the best place to enjoy a Sunday roast.


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