Dave Alebon, Kitchen Manager at the Brasshouse on Broad Street, has won the pub and restaurant category at the British BBQ Battle after a live cook-off at the prestigious Blenheim palace yesterday (15th June).
Highly accustomed to the ‘heat’ being on after an amazing 22 years running the Brasshouse kitchen, 57 year-old Dave took no easy option, preparing a complex menu of King Prawn with Lime and Ginger; Fillet of Beef in herb pancake with a Cranberry and Orange Jus; followed by Warm Peach and Madeira cake with Vanilla Custard.
Competing against eight selected finalists from different industries, the dishes were prepared in a strict one-hour time frame in front of a judging panel headed by Ben Bartlett, President of the British BBQ Association and Britain’s Best BBQ’er. The judges deliberated the taste, appearance and BBQ cooking techniques of each contestant before announcing the winners.
Dave, proudly named Best Chef on Broad Street in 2013, entered the competition after owners of The Brasshouse, Stonegate Pub Company, highlighted the opportunity. Asked about how the highly commended menu was inspired, Dave explained “I was actually sat on a bus when it all came together in my mind! I never stop being interested in new ideas for preparing dishes so once I had the inspiration, I started researching the perfect preparation and started practicing!
“The chargrill ‘dress rehearsal’ wasn’t quite the real deal but it all came together really well on the Crown Verity BBQ we were given to use on the day – despite the challenging weather! The whole event was really great fun, and I’m really pleased to be taking home the title to Birmingham!”
All finalists took home prizes worth £15,000 including British BBQ Battle chef’s whites whilst the overall winner also got to take home the top of the range Crown Verity BBQ.
Dave, who started as a commis chef at the young age of 17, gained his City and Guilds qualifications at Birmingham university where he made his claim to fame cooking for the queen, and has been working as a chef ever since. He first entered the British BBQ Battle in 2013 when he was awarded runner up.