Derbyshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2015: Meet the judges
PUBLISHED: 11:16 13 August 2015 | UPDATED: 11:16 13 August 2015
Meet the judges of the inaugural Derbyshire Life Food and Drink awards as they debate the best of Derbyshire's hospitality
Talking about the delicious food and drink available in Derbyshire is always an exciting topic of conversation and there has been plenty of discussion in recent weeks among the team of Derbyshire Life Food & Drink Awards judges.
Their deliberations are on-going as they work towards a shortlist soon to be published and we look forward to the awards ceremony at Casa Hotel in Chesterfield on 18th November 2015.
Meet the judges
Alan is chef patron at Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants, owned by the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire. He trained at High Peak College, Buxton (now the University of Derby Buxton) and has worked at some of the finest eateries in the country including the Michelin-starred Fischer’s at Baslow Hall, the celebrated Juniper restaurant in Cheshire, and the award-winning Box Tree in Yorkshire.
Alan joined Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants in 2006 as head chef for the Devonshire Arms at Beeley and became chef patron in 2007. A year later, when the group acquired the Devonshire Arms at Pilsley, Alan took control of both businesses.
Clare founded Seasoned Cookery School in Walton-on-Trent five years ago, after moving from London to return to her Derbyshire roots. Since its creation, the school has gone from strength to strength and is now located in the courtyard of the beautiful Catton Hall Estate.
Clare and her team work with some of the country’s best-loved chefs – including four BBC Masterchef finalists and four Great British Bake Off finalists. Day cookery courses include Baking, Italian, Indian and ‘Men in the Kitchen’.
Clare is passionate about inspiring people through cookery and whilst judging the awards, she hopes to uncover some of the county’s hidden gems.
Robert has worked for the University of Derby since 2005 and is currently a lecturer in culinary arts at the University’s Buxton campus.
He began his career at the Savoy Hotel in London – after attending catering college in Manchester – and has many years of experience in the industry, holding various positions including executive chef. Robert has worked at Claridges in London, Gleneagles in Scotland, the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey and for the Grand Metropolitan and Trusthouse Forte hotel groups.
Memorable experiences include catering for the official opening of Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport and the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal in the Shetland Isles, golf opens and international military sports competitions. His accolades include British Turkey Chef of the Year 2010, Galbani Taste of Italy Winner 2011 and University Chef of the Year 2012. He has also won numerous awards in culinary competitions.