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25th Jun, 2022

Finalists chosen in battle to become Droitwich hotel's taster in residence

Droitwich Editorial 24th Jul, 2014 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

A POLICE sergeant, a nurse and the granddaughter of one of the Chateau’s earliest owners will be competing to become the hotel’s first taster in residence this weekend.

And, it is thought to be the first role of its kind in the country.

Eight finalists are due to battle it out tomorrow (Saturday) for the crown and win the chance to test all the Chateau Impney Hotel’s new dishes before they are put on the menus. Every year the company serves more than 50,000 meals.

The contestants will be pitted against each other in a number of assessments, designed to determine how talented their tastebuds really are.

The honorary tester will work with the hotel’s executive chef and his team sampling the food and providing feedback to help develop the hotel’s menus.

Each finalist was hand-picked by general manager Ben Elder and executive chef Stephen Unwin who will both be judging the final taste battle.

The contestants include 34-year-old structural engineer Chris Williams, from Bromsgrove, who has always had an interest in food and is a keen chef who loves any Italian-based dish.

Also competing, from Bromsgrove, is government officer Lisa Gallacher, 37, who has sampled foods from across the globe.

Self-confessed ‘ex-fussy eater’ police sergeant Dave Hadley, a 35-year-old from Droitwich, who has a passion for cooking locally sourced food, will also be taking part.

Fellow Spatan NHS sister Rebecca Hemming, 37, who plans to use her love of food, cooking and creating new inventions to her advantage will also be joining the taste off.

Veterinary nutritionist Alison Deas, 55, is the granddaughter of Ralph Edwards and has not just entered for her love of food but because she is hoping to use the opportunity to continue her family’s legacy at the Chateau.

Tracy Sarjant, a 54-year-old medical secretary with a passion for good food is another contestant. She loves a range of cuisine from a simple homemade shepherd’s pie to food served up on a three-star Michelin experience.

Ben said: “We received a lot of high-calibre entries and it was extremely difficult to whittle those entries down to a final eight.

“However, we were bowled over by the passion our shortlisted finalists demonstrated in their applications and we look forward to seeing that passion shine through during the taste battle.

“We’re delighted to have received applications from such a diverse group of people, both in the range of food knowledge they mention and in their personal backgrounds.

“There’s a melting pot of experience in our shortlist and we’re intrigued to see how that will come in to play during the taste battles.

“We look forward to welcoming our finalists to the Chateau this weekend.”

The winner will be announced on Monday (July 28).

Visit chateau-impney.com for more.

General manager Ben Elder and executive chef Stephen Unwin. s

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