Island Chef wows judges at National Chef Awards

Anglesey-based chef Sophie Rowe wowed judges at the recent National Chef Awards with a mouth-watering local menu included a pear and chutney tart to start, salt marsh lamb with truffle and lamb jus and a dessert of dark chocolate mousse and blood orange curd.

(*full menu below). Sophie is honing her chefing skills at the Gaerwen Arms and training in the workplace with Busnes@LlandrilloMenai. Having very nearly completed a level 2 Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery she came second only to former three times National Chef finalist chef-lecturer Mathew Smith and beat off competition from more mature and experienced chefs to claim second place.

Sophie was supported by her boss Andrew Tabberner, who was her commis. Andrew is an ex-finalist and former winner of the Junior Chef of Wales title. Speaking after the event he said:

“Everyone here at the Gaerwen Arms is unbelievably proud of Sophie. She worked so hard to perfect her dishes and prepare for the event, for one of the youngest chefs in the competition to come so close to winning a prestigious competition at such a young age is quite an accolade.”

Sophie’s Work Based Learning Assessor, Tony Fitzmaurice added:

"Sophie is a hugely talented learner who has a great passion for the culinary world and has an exciting future. We are so pleased for her and for the Gaerwen Arms, it’s great to work with an up-and-coming chef working at one of Anglesey’s ‘stand-out’ restaurants. I can’t wait to see what she does next!”

Busnes@LlandrilloMenai offers a broad range of apprenticeship opportunities including Professional Cookery, for more information on how your company can benefit visit

Find out more about the Gaerwen Arms here

Sophie’s locally inspired Winning Menu:

Vegan tart with pear chutney, broccoli florets, vegan cheese mousse, broccoli stalks and a split broccoli veloute'.

Rack of salt marsh lamb, glazed lamb neck, caramelised onion puree, roscoff onions, boulangère potatoes and truffle and a lamb jus'.

Chocolate shell with a dark chocolate mousse, blood orange curd, salted caramel, tuile, homemade buttermilk ice cream and almond.