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14 October 2014

Dale McIntosh is Through to the Finals of Chef Competition

Tensions were high at Exeter College this weekend as our head chef Dale went head to head with seven other chefs for the title of South West Chef of the year!

Tensions were high at Exeter College this weekend as our head chef Dale went head to head with 7 other chefs for a space in the finals of the South West Chef of the Year competitions.

Each of the semi-finalists in the professional class had to create and cook two dishes using ingredients from the South West region. Judges in the competition were made up of a panel of renowned chefs including: Michael Caines MBE and Mark Hix as well as local celebrated chefs Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and Neil Haydock.

The chefs will be judged on their skill, creativity in cooking and knowledge of produce from the South West region. 

Dale, a three-time finalist and winner of the Cornish Challenge, is a recognised name in Cornwall. With more than 15 years’ experience in the kitchen Dale has established his reputation working in many of Cornwall’s favourite restaurants and gastro pubs including The Pandora Inn and Bustopher’s Bar Bistro before taking over the helm at the Merchants Manor Brasserie in January 2013.

Throughout the course of the day, each chef had just one and a half hours to prepare a two-course meal using two compulsory ingredients.  The professional semi-finalists’ menus included mackerel and lamb neck fillet.

As Cornwall’s only semi-finalist, Dale worked tirelessly to perfect his competing dishes and fly the Duchy flag. Despite this pressure on his shoulders, he was met with equal support from locals, businesses and fellow chefs from all over the county.

Strong Support for Dale access social media

#GoDale filled social networks with encouragement in the drum roll to the semi-final competition, to give our head chef the final push he needed to start the clock in top form.

The majority of contestants used the mackerel for their starter, leaving the lamb neck for main course. Dale presented mackerel 3 ways for his starter and braised lamb for his main in a bid to secure his place in the final.

As cooking times came to an end in the professional class, all of us here at the Manor were glued to our social network feeds eagerly awaiting the results…


The SWC competition judges all agreed that the standard of competition in all three classes was superb and the results were a very close call. However, Dale kept his cool and managed to perform his dishes with flair and finesse to secure a place in the final!

The finals will take place on Monday 27th October, again at Exeter College, where the Professional and Young Professional finalists will be asked to prepare a three course meal using a mystery box of ingredients presented to them just 30 minutes before the competition starts.

Join us in supporting Dale in the lead-up to the finals by tweeting us and Dale with #GoDale: