Exmoor Young Chef Competition 2022

The final of the  brand new Exmoor Young Chef Competition for aspiring young chefs took place on Saturday 2nd July 2022 at West Somerset College. The event was filmed and you'll be able to watch it here later this summer.

Through the competition, which we hope will become an annual event, we are hoping to inspire young people and ignite the passion for cooking that can lead a young person onto great things in a rewarding career within the hospitality industry.  There is an abundance of fantastic local produce, award-winning restaurants and exciting training and upskilling opportunities available in the National Park. (Scroll down for Careers information).

Read the Press Release dated 4th July and results below:

Top skills displayed in Exmoor Young Chef final

From succulent Exmoor beef to home-grown loganberries, some of the area’s finest produce was showcased in the final of the Exmoor Young Chef competition, which took place last weekend on Saturday 2nd July at West Somerset College.

Over the past month, seven talented young finalists aged 15-16 years, have been mentored by professional Exmoor chefs to help them devise their menu and improve their cookery skills.

In Saturday’s final, which was filmed, the seven young cooks were observed and judged by two top industry professionals: Miguel Tenreiro, General Manager and Head Chef at Porlock Weir Hotel, and Max Lawrence from Visit Exmoor and the Institute of Hospitality.

The winning spot was awarded to finalist Perran Clark from Braunton and Nathan Reardon from Cullompton was a close runner-up.

“Perran’s dish of chicken supreme, fondant potato and tarragon sauce showcasing Beech Ridge chicken particularly impressed me” said judge Miguel Tenreiro, “and Jessicas’s cured mackerel from the North Devon coast was perfectly presented and tasted amazing too”.

Max Lawrence added: “The finalists’ excitement and passion for cooking has been really evident throughout this competition and the presentation of the meals has been of an incredibly professional standard. The career opportunities for young people within the hospitality industry are vast and with the right commitment, skills and training, young chefs can advance quickly in this rewarding face-paced sector.

“The quality of Exmoor’s local produce and the vibrant food scene are of paramount importance to visitors to the National Park and our many award-winning restaurants and hotels are testament to the many high-quality dining experiences available here.”

All the finalists received a local Exmoor produce hamper and the winner and runner up were each awarded an engraved salver from the Rotary Club of Minehead.

Winner Perran Clark will be assisting top chefs with the cooking on the Chef’s Stage at the North Devon FOODfest on 11th September and Nathan Reardon was chosen to appear in a YouTube cooking video with Chef Chin from Chin and Choo (Ziangs at Porlock), who teach oriental street food cooking to their 138K followers. Watch the You Tube video with Nathan here!

Finalist Jessica Evans from Barnstaple was awarded a work experience day in the Michelin starred Masons Arms at Knowstone, and Tom Evans from Milverton will be experiencing the extensive kitchens at Butlins, Minehead.

Finalists Logan Schofield, Mika Harnett and Eli Hindon also received specialist chef tools kindly donated by H2 Catering at Bridgwater.

Katrina Munro from Exmoor National Park Authority organised the competition with help from Butlin’s Group Development Chef Werner Hartholt and chef Mollie Foster from Minehead Rotary Club.

Werner, said: “The finalists all showed incredible skill and the time spent practising at home and with their mentor chefs has really paid off. We’re very grateful to the local chefs who have helped mentor the students to reach this level. There are exciting training and upskilling opportunities available locally for young people, this a great career for those who have a passion for food and great service.”

The competition is part of a larger project with Visit Exmoor and many partners to develop the Exmoor and Coast Centre of Excellence for Hospitality. Emma Thomasson of Visit Exmoor, said: “We are grateful to the support of all partners and funding from Somerset County Council, West Somerset Opportunity Area, SomersetWorks, North Devon Council and Minehead Rotary. This project will help us connect young people with employers as well as training opportunities and support from our partner organisations.”

Exmoor Young Chef Competition 2022

Winner: Perran Clark from Braunton

Runner-Up: Nathan Reardon from Cullompton (Watch Nathan appear in a You Tube cooking video here! It was one of his prizes.)

Other finalists:

  • Logan Schofield from Wiveliscombe
  • Mikaella Harnett from Somerton
  • Jessica Evans from Barnstaple
  • Tom Evans from Milverton
  • Eli Hindon from Chipstable

Hospitality Careers’ Advice

For careers’ advice, apprenticeships, vacancies and opportunities please refer to our partners’ websites:

Competition Organisers

The competition was organised by Exmoor National Park Authority with support from Minehead Rotary Club and Butlin’s Chef & Trainer Werner Hartholt. It is part of a larger project to develop the  Exmoor and Coast Centre of Excellence for Hospitality. which is part funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund as part of the Somerset Business Cluster and Networks initiative. Please send any competition enquiries to

Read the COMPETITION INFORMATION PACK here for full details of the competition and competition rules.

We are grateful to the support and funding of other partners:

  • West Somerset Opportunity Area
  • North Devon Council
  • SomersetWorks
  • Minehead Rotary Club
  • Visit Exmoor ( Exmoor and Coast Centre of Excellence for Hospitality)
  • Somerset West & Taunton Council
  • Skill up Somerset
  • West Coast 360
  • Somerset Skills
  • Colleges -  West Somerset, Petroc and  Bridgwater & Taunton