Winner announced for 2018 Tabasco Brand Hot Chef Competition

Emily Orton, a third year apprentice taking Level 3 professional cookery at The University of West London, has won the 2018 Tabasco Brand Hot Chef Competition, now in its sixth year.

Held in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs the competition culminated in a live final involving 10 student chefs at this year’s Hotelympia exhibition.

Orton’s winning menu consisted of a starter of Tipsy Sausage Roll - apple, mushroom & Tabasco sausage roll with apple and pear slaw, and main dish of Hunters Pie with Tabasco chipotle confit chicken.

Orton said, “I feel overwhelmed and incredibly excited to have won the Tabasco Brand Hot Chef Competition. I spent months, weekends and loads of extra hours creating my two dishes and winning makes it all worthwhile! I still can't believe that I won! I loved the competition, working with the flavours and developing my menu.

'My inspiration came from a recent trip to Florida where I got the chance to see what type of food they eat out there. Plus I follow a lot of food web sites and social media feeds such as 'tasty' and 'thefeedfeed.com' on Instagram and Facebook.

'My idea was to bring typically American food into a British pub theme, so for example a cottage/Shepherd’s pie using bbq chicken (I call it Hunter’s pie) and a pulled pork sausage roll combined with Tabasco Sauce to enhance their flavours.”

Gary Evans, International Corporate Chef for the Tabasco Brand, (pictured left) said, “The Tabasco Brand was thrilled to support this unique competition once again. It’s a great opportunity for us to give something back to the industry and we are delighted that so many young chefs like Emily continue to engage with it.”

As well as the chance of having her dish make it onto the Stonegate pub group's menu, Orton will also enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Avery Island, Louisiana, where Tabasco Sauce has been made for 150 years by McIlhenny Company.