Tom’s aiming to be flavour of the month in top food competition

Tom Pring, young chef of the year nominee. Galin restaurant, Heathfield SUS-151014-221659008
Tom Pring, young chef of the year nominee. Galin restaurant, Heathfield SUS-151014-221659008

A young chef from Heathfield is stepping up to the plate to stake his claim to a top County food title.

Tom Pring, 23, head chef at the Galin Restaurant in the High Street has been shortlisted for the title of Young Chef of the Year in the Sussex Food and Drink Awards sponsored by Sodexo.

Tom - who has a kitchen brigade of two - is thrilled to be nominated, particularly as previous winners have been big restaurants regularly reviewed in national media.

He attended Heathfield Community College and was apprenticed at the Middle House, Mayfield for two years before honing his skills at restaurants in Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone. He writes his own menus for classical dishes with a European twist and says: “I love it that people come here to enjoy my food.” Next step is a daunting cook-off against five co-finalists at the Amex Stadium kitchen on October 29. He explained: “I have to plan a three course menu with two dishes each course. Ingredients musn’t cost more than £15 per person. We’ve got 90 minutes to cook it and we have to show all our planning.”

Other East Sussex finalists include the Little Blue Smokeshouse, Crowborough; Pig and Jacket, Lewes; Traditional Cheese Dairy, Stonegate; Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling; Middle Farm, Firle; Offham Farm Shop; Tottingworth Farm Shop, Heathfield and Veasey Fishmongers, Forest Row. Winners will be announced at a banquet at the Amex on January 28 hosted by Olympian Sally Gunnell and Danny Pike of BBC Radio Sussex.

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