One of Royal Deeside’s leading chefs has reached the quarter finals of a national television competition. Chris O’Halloran, head chef of The Green Inn, Ballater, battled it out against 16 talented chefs from Scotland and Northern Ireland to reach the regional heat finals of Britain’s Best Dish. Beating off stiff competition from Chef Kyle Greer of Belfast-based restaurant No 27 Talbot Street, Chris clinched the regional heat title with his hot chocolate cake with cinnamon ice-cream, rich chocolate sauce and cookies. He will now compete against some of the finest chefs from across the UK, in the quarter final stage held at Wembley Stadium which will be aired on ITV on Tuesday 20 December 2011. In recognition of his achievement, Chris received a personal letter from The Prince of Wales, congratulating him on his win and wishing him well for the next stage.
Garry Marsden, chairman of Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms DMO which is driving forward the development of the area as a foodie destination says, “Chris is one of a number of highly talented chefs in Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms, who hold several AA rosettes in recognition of their excellent quality food. Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms is blessed with some of the finest ingredients in Scotland. Our Royal Deeside Larder initiative has firmly established our position as a leading gastro tourism destination. Our initiatives, like the Venison Festival and the Deelicious magazine, are encouraging more people to take foodie short breaks here. We wish Chris well with the next stage of the competition and hope he can bring the trophy back to Ballater and encourage more gastronomes to visit our area.”
Over 100 chefs entered the national competition, which is judged by Michelin starred chef John Burton-Race, food critic Jilly Goolden and top restaurateur Ed Baines and each chef has specially created a recipe for the show. Chris’ parents Evelyn and Trevor O’Halloran own and run The Green Inn, which they purchased in 2002. Prior to this, Chris spent over 20 years working at several high quality hotels across Scotland and spent a short time training at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons with Raymond Blanc.
Thanks to his inspirational dishes and passion for good food, The Green Inn has been awarded several accolades for its food. It was awarded its third red rosette by the AA last year, putting it in the top twenty restaurants in Scotland and also received Eat Scotland’s gold Award one of only twelve in the country, in the company of such haloed foodie places including Andrew Fairlie at The Gleneagles Hotel and Restaurant Martin Wishart.
Chris O’Halloran, head chef of The Green Inn says, “It is a wonderful feeling to win the regional heat and represent Scotland in the quarter finals of the competition. The standard is exceptionally high and many of the chefs competing are of Michelin Star standard and hold several AA rosettes, so it really is the best of the best taking part.
“As someone who is so passionate about food I focussed on creating a dish which would stand out, combining a blend of different flavours which would instantly leave an impression on the judges. Being in the dessert category – I just had to create a chocolate dish and it’s been a winner thus far. We were put forward for the competition by the Good Food Guide and the support we’ve had so far from our customers, suppliers and people of Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms has been phenomenal. My parents have also been there to cheer me on at each stage. Cooking at Wembley Stadium will be a real coup and certainly add to the whole experience of the quarter final stage.”
Royal Deeside & the Cairngorms DMO is the official Destination Management Organisation for tourism businesses in the areas of Royal Deeside, Donside and the Eastern Cairngorms. Find out more about the DMO at www.discoverroyaldeeside.com. For further information on The Green Inn visit www.green-inn.com or call 013397 55701.
Picture caption: Chris O’Halloran, head chef of The Green Inn, Ballater, battled it out against 16 talented chefs from Scotland and Northern Ireland to win the regional heat of Britain’s Best Dish. Photography credit – Paul Mackie Photography.
High resolution images are available.