Zaneta crowned Chef of the Year in hot contest

The final of the 2016 Isle of Man Chef of the Year as part of the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival. Zaneta Krol of Haworth's restaurant in the Regency Hotel beat David Hall of MacFarlane's restaurant to win the 2016 title. Gareth Wyn Jones (TV presenter and farmer) takes a selfie with the competitors and sponsors of the 2016 event.

The final of the 2016 Isle of Man Chef of the Year as part of the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival. Zaneta Krol of Haworth's restaurant in the Regency Hotel beat David Hall of MacFarlane's restaurant to win the 2016 title. Gareth Wyn Jones (TV presenter and farmer) takes a selfie with the competitors and sponsors of the 2016 event.

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Chefs felt the heat of competition at the hugely successful Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival at the weekend.

Zaneta Krol, of Haworths restaurant in Douglas, secured the title of Chef of the Year on Sunday with her dish of Manx honey parfait with Okells Aile porter sorbet, picking up a trophy, £500 cash and £500 for her restaurant to spend on advertising in the process.

The final of the 2016 Isle of Man Chef of the Year as part of the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival. Zaneta Krol of Haworth's restaurant in the Regency Hotel beat David Hall of MacFarlane's restaurant to win the 2016 title.

The final of the 2016 Isle of Man Chef of the Year as part of the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival. Zaneta Krol of Haworth's restaurant in the Regency Hotel beat David Hall of MacFarlane's restaurant to win the 2016 title.

She impressed the judges to overcome David Hall, of Macfarlane’s restaurant, who served up Manx brill and confit Manx pollock with fennel, cauliflower puree, Anna potato and red wine sauce.

Making the difficult decision were celebrity farmer Gareth Wyn Jones, who was the special guest at the festival, Steve Farrell, from festival sponsor Magnet IoM Ltd, Janna Horsthuis, from competition sponsor Robinson’s, and Environment, Food and Agriculture Minister Richard Ronan.

Gareth said both chefs displayed great skill and confidence and it had been difficult to choose a winner. The competition demonstrated how Manx produce could be put to imaginative use to create such varied dishes, he added.

Meanwhile, John McMullen became the second ever Student Chef of the Year at the festival and took home a trophy and £250 cash.

The final of the 2016 Isle of Man Chef of the Year as part of the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival. Zaneta Krol of Haworth's restaurant in the Regency Hotel beat David Hall of MacFarlane's restaurant to win the 2016 title.

The final of the 2016 Isle of Man Chef of the Year as part of the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival. Zaneta Krol of Haworth's restaurant in the Regency Hotel beat David Hall of MacFarlane's restaurant to win the 2016 title.

John served a rack of Manx lamb cooked in hay with courgette and mint and Manx cheese potato cake, with carrot and turnip puree and a red wine sauce.

Judges had a tough time deciding between John’s dish and Henry Tung’s creation – cooked pan-seared Manx duck with caramelised figs and onions, accompanied by a peppered rosti, bacon and sage crumb and a blackberry and port jus.

Both John and Henry learned their trade at University College Isle of Man (UCM) – which offers BTEC, GCSE and NVQ qualifications in hospitality, catering and food and drink – and qualified for the final through heats held at UCM.

John now works for The Courthouse while Henry works for Jak’s Bar and Steakhouse.

Student Chef of the Year John McMullen receiving his prize from Minister Richard Ronan, Gareth Wyn Jones and Janna Horsthuis from sponsor Robinsons

Student Chef of the Year John McMullen receiving his prize from Minister Richard Ronan, Gareth Wyn Jones and Janna Horsthuis from sponsor Robinsons

All four chefs had a time limit and the pressure of a large audience and fielded questions put to them by comperes Tony Quirk, a leading local chef, and Chris Franklin, chef lecturer at UCM.

Dishes were judged on use of local ingredients, taste and presentation.

Later in the day Gareth took part in a ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’-style competition before a live audience competing against Beth Espey and Jo Pack from Manx Radio, with Dot Tilbury acting as presenter.

Mr Ronan said: ‘The chefs demonstrated the versatility of Manx produce, creating four completely different dishes that went down a treat and were hard to separate for judging purposes.

Special guest Gareth Wyn Jones (TV presenter and farmer) took part in a 'Ready, Steady, Cook'-style competition before a live audience as part of the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival 2016. He competed against Beth Espey and Jo Pack from Manx Radio, with Dot Tilbury acting as presenter.

Special guest Gareth Wyn Jones (TV presenter and farmer) took part in a 'Ready, Steady, Cook'-style competition before a live audience as part of the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival 2016. He competed against Beth Espey and Jo Pack from Manx Radio, with Dot Tilbury acting as presenter.

‘The standard of competition was incredibly high, reflecting the quality of training at UCM and of our fine local restaurants.’

The competitions were among the highlights of the two-day Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival, held in the Villa Marina Gardens, which drew large crowds.

Mr Ronan added: ‘The festival is the showpiece event of the year, bringing together all those with a love of Manx produce in one fantastic setting to eat, drink, pick up recipes, enjoy demonstrations and entertainment and take home products to try.

‘Gareth Wyn Jones is a great character and was a huge hit with festival-goers and exhibitors alike and his tweets from the festival brought valuable extra publicity.

‘I’d like to thank Gareth, Magnet IoM Ltd, Robinson’s and everyone else who made the festival such a success.’

The finalists’ recipes can be found on www.gov.im/food

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