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Food served at Shepherd Neame pubs has been recognised as the best in the UK at the pub industry’s national awards.
The company’s managed houses were awarded Best Food Offer at The Publican Awards 2012, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane last night.
Fighting off stiff competition from a shortlist including three national pub operators, the judges concluded that Shepherd Neame was a worthy winner thanks to the breadth of its improvements, covering chef skills, presentation of dishes, service and the sourcing of ingredients.
The award follows the arrival of the brewery’s head development chef, Simon Howlett, who, together with retail operations manager Graeme Endacott, has developed chef skills through a series of workshops, each of which is rounded-off with Master Chef-style cook-off competitions.
Graeme said: “Kent has some of the best quality ingredients in the country and our commitment to local sourcing was another key part of our award submission. We use ingredients from independent suppliers such as JC Rook & Sons Butchers, Griggs of Hythe Fishmongers and RJ Kingsland Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers. They provide some of the best Kent-grown seasonal produce available.”
He continued: “I think the judges were also impressed by our menu development. We continue to serve classic British pub dishes, but have also innovated by developing recipes from around the world with our chefs to give customers a broader choice.”
Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame praised the managed pub team: “We’re continually developing the quality, presentation and service of the food in our pubs and are delighted that these endeavours have been recognised. This award is a huge testament to the commitment and skills of our chefs in their efforts to bring the best of Kent to our customers.”