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Importance to economy of dining out highlighted as chef finalists are announced

Friday, 17 June 2016

The importance to the Island’s economy of eating out is being highlighted by the Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture.

Richard Ronan MHK today announced the finalists in the Isle of Man Chef of the Year and Student Chef of the Year competitions.

Via its Food Matters strategy, Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) is seeking to grow the value of the food and drink sector by £50 million.

‘The Island’s distinctive food and drink and the experience of eating out are important to the Island’s economic success, both in terms of creating jobs and attracting visitors,’ the Minister said.

‘Increasingly, discerning visitors choose destinations to enjoy good quality food that’s unique to the area, cooked by skilled chefs, as well as for the beauty of its landscape.

‘The Isle of Man Government’s recently published Destination Management Plan 2016-2020 emphasises the importance of training and quality in enticing visitors.

‘The Chef and Student Chef of the Year competitions are a showcase for the ever-growing range of quality local produce and a stage for our talented chefs and student chefs to show off their skills.’

Heats for the competitions were held yesterday at University College Isle of Man (UCM), which offers BTEC, GCSE and NVQ qualifications in hospitality, catering and food and drink.

Chef Of The Year Finalists David Hall And Zaneta KrollChef of the Year finalists are:

  • David Hall from Macfarlane’s restaurant, Douglas: Pan-roasted Manx brill, confit Manx pollock with lemon and thyme-infused Manx rapeseed oil, Manx cauliflower puree and pickled fennel.
  • Zaneta Krol from Haworths restaurant, Douglas: Manx honey parfait with Okells Aile porter sorbet.

Student Chef of the Year finalists are:

  • Henry Tung: Pan-seared Manx duck with caramelised figs and onions, accompanied by a peppered rosti, bacon and sage crumb and a cherry and port jus.
  • John McMullen: Rack of Manx lamb cooked in hay with courgette and mint and Manx cheese potato cake, with carrot and turnip puree and a red wine sauce.

Judges were Janna Horsthuis from sponsor Robinson’s, well-known local chef Tony Quirk, 2015 Chef of the Year James Stubbs from The Courthouse, Douglas, and Audrey Fowler, Marketing Officer with the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA).

Student Chef Of The Year Finalists Henry Tung And John Mc Mullen (1)Janna said: ‘Robinson’s is pleased to support the competitions, as we work closely with the Island’s catering sector, supplying high-quality local produce to chefs. We are looking forward to seeing the innovative and tasty dishes produced by the chefs in both competitions.’

Chris Franklin, Chef Lecturer of Hospitality and Catering at UCM, said: ‘This competition is an exciting opportunity for our students to practice and demonstrate the skills they’ve learned and to cook in a live theatre environment. We wish the finalists the best of luck.’

The finals will be held at the Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival, sponsored by Magnet IOM Ltd, being held at the Villa Marina on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September.

The Chef of the Year will receive £500 cash, an engraved plaque and £500 for their establishment to spend on advertising. The Student Chef of the Year will take home £250, a trophy and a certificate.

For more information about the festival, visit, like Isle of Man Food and Drink on facebook or follow @IoMFoodandDrink on Twitter.

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