Army chef Stephen serves up a winner

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An Army chef from Ashington has won a top industry award for his work in the kitchen.

the Aramark Chef of the Year award .

Sergeant Stephen Minshull is serving with 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, based at Thorney Island in Hampshire, and was picked from six finalists to receive the coveted Aramark Chef of the Year award.

The 31-year-old received a prize of £1,000 and a bottle of Champagne.

He put his success down to the training he has received and his experience, which meant that he was able to plan and deliver his food to a high standard.

He said: “I always wanted to be a soldier and also a chef, so this was the obvious choice.

“The competition has been really good and has given me the opportunity to showcase what I can do and I hope other Army chefs will give it a go next year.”

In the final, Sgt Minshull, having first fought his way through local and regional rounds, faced five civilian chefs.

He cooked a two-course dinner of chicken breast marinated in rosemary and lemon and a confit of chicken leg, with a new potato hash, celeriac purée, mushroom lasagne and beurre blanc sauce.

This was followed by a dessert of chocolate orange fondant, an almond praline and banana ice cream

Brian Bonner, a regional catering manager with Aramark said: “This event improves the skill base of our chefs and gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills.”

He added: “This year’s competition marks a relaunch of the competition and the aim is to give the chefs an opportunity to show their initiative, as usually they are working to directed menus”.”