Abergavenny Chef Crowned Brains Best

An Abergavenny pub chef has been crowned Brains Chef of the Year 2010 for the second year in a row. Matthew Lewis, from the Lamb and Flag in Llanwenarth, produced a winning three course menu, beating five other Brains chefs to take the title.

Matthew began his career at the Lamb and Flag nine years ago, starting out as a kitchen porter, then moving to the front of house. But it was his passion for food that took him back to the kitchen. Since becoming chef at the popular Abergavenny pub he has achieved the AAA foundation and chef level award from Cambrian Training, and is working towards an NVQ level three in professional cookery. He is also voluntarily tutoring under privileged 14 – 16 year olds in a local youth centre.

Jamie Lewis from Churchills Hotel in Cardiff and Charlotte Thomas from the Maltsters in Cardiff, were named runners-up. The remaining finalists were Claire Barrell from the Lamb & Flag, Alan Bowen from the Duke of Wellington in Cowbridge, and Gareth Webb from the Black Lion in Lampeter.

Deciding on the winning menu was a judging panel made up of Welsh Culinary Association members, including Arwyn Watkins, Colin Gray and Nick Davies. Presentations were made by Lesley Griffiths, Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation & Skills

Jill Matthews, Head of Catering at Brains said: "The standard of the food produced by all finalists was exceptional. This competition has shown just how talented the chefs working in our estate are. The great news for us, and for them, is that they are developing and improving every year."