Liverpool BID Company’s Food and Drink Week celebrations (May 27 – June 2) saw the launch of the city’s first ever Chef Awards today (May 30), as many of the shining lights of Liverpool’s vibrant restaurant scene were rewarded for their culinary skills and dedication.
Working in partnership with Liverpool Hospitality Association, the awards champion the very best in the city’s food industry. With categories ranging across an array of cuisines from Italian and South American to vegetarian and pub food, the judges, including Paul Askew, renowned chef patron of The Art School, were looking for chefs that displayed an extra dimension to their cooking that placed them above their peers in this burgeoning sector in Liverpool.
Ma Boyle’s Eatery & Ale House took home the Best Pub Food award, while Bakchich (Middle Eastern), Etsu (Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese) and Mowgli (Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani) all scooping prizes in the popular Ethnic Food categories. Maray (Small Plates), Fazenda (South American cuisine), Casa Italia (Italian Style Food) and Sanskruti (Vegetarian/Vegan) were all honoured for their culinary excellence, while Artisane won the award for Best Bakery or Patisserie.
Each of the winning chefs were presented with bespoke chefs jackets to mark their achievements at an event held at Aloft Liverpool. Another major winner was Andrew Williams of Salt House Bacaro on Castle Street who took home the Up and Coming Chef award.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, and chair of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN), said:
“The restaurant and bar scene in Liverpool is having a huge impact on the city’s reputation, both nationally and internationally, and on the local economy.
“The sector here is outperforming most other major cities in the country, showing the second highest increase in venue openings over the past five years at 18.1%, just behind Manchester (22.3%) but well ahead of London at 6.8%. With the Chef Awards, which is inspired by a similar initiative held by our BID international partners, Bilbao Dendak – an organisation which represents Bilbao’s retail and hospitality sectors – we want to reward those contributing within the sector here and explore ways of improving it even further.”
Paul Askew, chef patron of The Art School, said:
“Liverpool has much to be proud of whether it’s music or sport, and we now have a strong restaurant scene to add to that list.
“The city’s visitor economy, and specifically the food culture, is growing at pace, and you only have to look at the contenders for the first Chef Awards to see that. There is a real mix of flavours coming through, world-class independents, family-run businesses and some brilliantly talented chefs. We can compete with the best cities around the world, and all that is celebrated today.
“Thanks to a collaboration between the BID and Liverpool Hospitality Association, the Chef Awards thanks those individuals who are leading the way in the sector and working hard to move it forward, but also, highlights the importance of nurturing the next generation of chefs and addressing the skills shortage which unfortunately is a very real issue in the city.”
The Chef Awards also brought together some of the city’s movers and shakers in the sector to discuss the current state of the city’s food scene, as well as things that need to change and lessons that need to be learnt from best practice going forward into 2020.
Chef Awards Winners 2019
- Up and Coming Chef – Andrew Williams from Salt House Bacaro
- Pub Food – Ma Boyle’s Eatery & Ale House – Kevin Macnamara
- Small Plates (tapas, modern European) – Maray – Jonathan Kelly
- South American cuisine – Fazenda – Francisco Martínez
- Italian Style food – Casa Italia – Greg Tyszka
- Ethnic Food (Middle Eastern) – Bakchich – Mohammed Daifi
- Ethnic Food (Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani) – Mowgli – Gavin Barker
- Ethnic Food (Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese) – Etsu – Max Aguilar
- Vegetarian/Vegan – Sanskruti – Hemali Shukla
- Bakery Patisserie – Artisane – Ileana Corcotoi and Cécile Valadeau
Find pictures from the Chef’s Awards below: