Essex Life Food & Drink Awards 2018 winners: Chef of the Year

PUBLISHED: 12:11 28 September 2018

Chef of the Year

Chef of the Year

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We reveal the winner for the Chef of the Year award. Sponsored by Allstaff Employment

This year, the Chef of the Year category was judged with a live cook off, held at Wivenhoe House Hotel. The chefs had to submit a three course menu, the judges selected who they would like to shortlist to take part in the cook off and the three finalists were chosen from this. The judges had an extremely difficult job of deciding on their finalists and were very impressed with the dishes all chefs produced.

Our finalists were....

Andi Walker — Andi Walker @ The Riverside Inn, Chelmsford

Situated in a 17th century mill, beautifully refurbished with The Blue Group stamp, Andi Walker @ The Riverside Inn has a setting that perfectly combines the modern and classic elements which are reflected in equal proportions in the food. I was a semi-finalist in MasterChef the Professionals in 2015 and have worked in several award-winning kitchens throughout my career.

Richard Cutting — The Chophouse, Braintree

The Chophouse is a restaurant based in the centre of Braintree. We’re going against all expectations and are going from strength to strength, gaining a rosette within 18 months of taking it on as head chef. But we’re not stopping there. We serve modern British food with an emphasis on accessible dining that’s for everyone.

Joshua Taylor — Orsett Hall Hotel, Orsett

My name is Joshua Taylor and I have been working at Orsett Hall for six years now. I have worked hard, moving up from commis chef to a junior sous chef. Orsett Hall offers a variety of cooking and learning for me, from afternoon teas and functions to the fine dining garden brassiere restaurant. If I wasn’t at Orsett Hall I wouldn’t be the chef I am today.


And the winner is.... Andi Walker


To find out more about the awards visit

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