It's a cook off: Sussex Young Chef of the Year Award Finalists

PUBLISHED: 00:17 17 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:27 20 February 2013

Bradley Jordan (24), Restaurant Tristan, Horsham

Bradley Jordan (24), Restaurant Tristan, Horsham

The American Express Community Stadium hosted a cook off between six finalists all trying to win the hotly contended Sussex Young Chef of the Year Award

SIX of Sussexs best young chefs got together at the Amex to cook it out for the honour of being recognised as the countys best.

They were Bradley Jordan from Restaurant Tristan in Horsham, Craig Holden from The Mill House in Ashington, Tom Dudley-Warde from The Fox Inn in Felpham, Paul Peach from The Horseguards Inn in Tillington and Rob Lightbody and Jimmy Gray from Jeremys Restaurant at Borde Hill Gardens near Haywards Heath.

The shortlisted chefs were selected by public vote. This year they had to produce a full three-course menu based on local and seasonal ingredients, as opposed to one course in previous years. They competed in the live cook off hosted by star chef Fred Tobin at the Amex Stadium with support from City College Brighton & Hove. Their meals were judged by an expert panel chaired by Clive Beddall OBE, Chairman of the Sussex Food & Drink Awards.

Voting lines have now closed. Other categories in these coveted awards include best Sussex eating experience, food producer, drink producer, farmer, food/farm shop, butcher and farmers market.

Finalists will be announced later this month and the winners and runners up will be revealed at the Sussex foodie event of the year, the awards banquet, being held for the first time at the Amex Stadium on 26 January 2012.

To find out more visit

Bradley Jordan

Restaurant Tristan, Horsham

Bradley (24) made it to the cook off stage of this competition last year, one of the most closely fought ever! Originally front of house, he found he had a talent for cooking when asked to help out in the kitchen one day; the rest is history. He would love to run a restaurant serving classic combinations with a modern twist, using the best of local suppliers, local ingredients and foraged goods wherever possible.

Jimmy Gray

Jeremys Restaurant, Borde Hill Gardens, Haywards Heath

Jimmy (22) is the second finalist from Jeremys. Jimmy comes from a culinary family, his father was for many years the chef for the Blubell Railways Golden Arrow Pullman car and is credited by restaurant owner, Jeremy Ashpool, with the fantastic training he gave his son. Jimmy sets his sights high and is hoping not just to become Sussex Young Chef of the Year, but also to win the Roux Scholarship, ultimately aspiring to become a Michelin starred chef.

Tom Dudley-Warde

The Fox Inn, Felpham

Tom (20) is the youngest chef on the shortlist. He particularly enjoys cooking seafood and would eventually like to run a seaside gastro pub serving fresh, local produce mainly fish. His interest in food became obvious when, as a student, Tom worked part time for the Fox, waiting tables and prepping in the kitchen.

Rob Lightbody

Jeremys Restaurant, Borde Hill Gardens, Haywards Heath

Rob (24) originally saw himself following a career in journalism but discovered that his real inspiration was food. His ambition is to travel the world extending his culinary skills and experience as he goes, most likely returning to his Sussex roots in the future. His signature dish of Assam tea smoked wood pigeon breast with pickled carrots, cauliflower, pakora, beetroot and coconut with a cardamom jus reflects his international leanings.

Craig Holden

The Mill House, Ashington

Craig (21) says his signature dish for summer is a slow braised belly of pork with a warm Waldorf salad and a Dijon cider sauce. His inspiration comes from wanting to showcase the fantastic flavour and texture of the pork with the fresh vibrant flavours that suit the summer months.

Paul Peach

The Horseguards Inn, Tillington

Paul (24) wanted to become a chef partly for the creativity it offers, I enjoy creating something from nothing as well as loving food it seemed to be the perfect combination. He has a particular commitment to all things local; ingredients for his signature dish Carpaccio of South Downs venison with mixed baby beetroot, sloe gin jelly and wild rocket travel no more than a couple of miles with some coming straight from the back garden.

Latest from the Sussex Life