English’s host Chef Off 2018

Winner Tristan Conway-Grim with the judges

Winner Tristan Conway-Grim with the judges Steven Edwards, Yuri Magni and Michael Bremner

Brighton & Hove’s Best Emerging Chef was crowned yesterday as young chefs from seven of the city’s top restaurants competed in the second English’s Chef Off.

English’s of Brighton, a seafood staple of the city with over 150 years of history, hosted the event.

English’s owner Simon Leigh-Jones said: “As one of the most established restaurants in Brighton we feel it’s vitally important to encourage both the next generation of chefs and our fellow independent restaurants.

“This competition offers a fantastic opportunity for young chefs to showcase their talents and it is fantastic that we received support from some esteemed names in the local restaurant industry.”


The competition was won by Tristan Conway-Grim from 3rd Avenue, who took home a prize of a £250 voucher for event sponsor and kitchen equipment supplier Kensington, as well as a magnum of champagne from another sponsor Bibendum.

Judging the competition was: Michael Bremner, the owner of 64 Degrees and finalist of the Great British Menu, Yuri Magni, the Head Chef of English’s, and Steven Edwards, the owner of etch. and the winner of Masterchef: The Professionals in 2013.

The participants had to be Chef de Partie level or lower. They had 25 minutes to prepare their signature dish in front of a live audience, before presenting it to the three judges. They were then scored on: inventiveness, flavour, presentation, use of produce, technical skill, least amount preparation in advance, nature of ingredients and cost.

The judges scoring the winning dish

The judges scoring the winning dish

Judge Steven Edwards said: “Anything like this for Brighton is great, promoting young chefs and really putting them out of their comfort zone, getting them cooking in front of people and coming up with whole new dishes. When you’re a chef in a restaurant, you’re one of a team and it’s not always the case that you’re completing a dish.”

On the Brighton scene he said: “I feel really at home here, it’s really nice that all the restaurants get together for stuff like this. There’s no rivalry, just competitiveness, ultimately we all love each other, we all like meeting up, we all like going out together and this competition only emphasises that, getting to meet up and push towards the future of Brighton.”

Winning chef Tristan, who is 21 years old and has been in the restaurant industry on and off for 4 years, cooked his way to first prize with a Dover sole fillet dish that was described by judge Steven Edwards as “quite a delicate dish, it wasn’t a dish that smacks you around the mouth. It had nice subtle flavours, good seasoning and for me was the stand out dish.”

The winning Dover sole dish

The winning Dover sole dish

He works at 3rd Avenue, who are newcomers to the Hove food scene, opening in December 2017.

Tristan said: “I’m completely shocked, I did not think I was going to win. It’s a massive surprise but feels amazing.

“All the other dishes looked really good and I was really nervous as I thought mine maybe wasn’t good enough so I’m really happy and really surprised.”

Winner Tristan preparing his dish

Winner Tristan preparing his dish

Harry Traynor from The Salt Room took home the runners up prize, with chefs from Cin Cin, Isaac At, Drakes, La Choza and Plateau completing the field.

The competitors

The competitors

This year’s competition was the second ever Chef Off hosted by English’s, following the success of their 2017 event, which was won by Mike White from The Salt Room, who now resides in Manchester.

Guests were treated to unlimited wine and champagne from event sponsor Bibendum Wines, a variety of oysters and an array of seafood dishes prepared by the English’s chefs with ingredients from sponsor Brighton & Newhaven Fish Sales.

English’s of Brighton is on East Street in Brighton city centre and serves the finest blend of modern and traditional, freshest quality seafood. For reservations and enquiries call 01273 327980, or visit