Tring Student’s ‘Zesty Stew’ Wins Great British Food Critic Competition

Living Magazines Simon Rogan

Simon Rogan, celebrity chef and owner of L’Enclume, the three-Michelin star restaurant in the magical village of Cartmel in Cumbria, recently announced the winner of the Great British Food Critic Competition.

Living Magazines MadisonMadison, a year 12 student from Tring, impressed Simon with her delicious review of her ‘zesty’ chorizo and butterbean stew, which she detailed is customary to consume before any Rugby game in her family.

Social mobiltity charity Speakers for Schools joined forces with three-Michelin star chef, Simon Rogan, to launch the Great British Food Critic Competition. The campaign sought to enlighten and encourage young people into the restaurant industry through a series of talks, Q&A’s and advice sessions from other celebrity chefs and esteemed food critics.

State-educated 11-19 year olds across the UK were invited to tune in to talks delivered by the likes of Alain Roux, Marcus Wareing and Richard Vines as well as Clare Smyth MBE, the only British female chef to hold three Michelin stars in the UK. The competition encouraged students to submit a 300-word food review of a meal of their choice, from a Sunday Roast out, to a pot noodle on the sofa.

For her exemplary culinary writing, Madison received a personal reference from Simon Rogan for her CV, a meal kit to make at home from his restaurant and a signed apron.

Simon Rogan, Michellin-starred chef, comments: ‘The hospitality sector is seeing 83% more vacancies across the board compared to 2019, according to ONS figures published last summer. The best way to combat this recruitment crisis in our sector is to come together and inspire the next generation. We need to open up the pipeline of chefs, front-of-house staff, business managers, farmers and all roles that are crucial to our operations to keep our industry thriving. Together, with Speakers for Schools, we are making that happen.’

Madison, competition winner, age 17, comments: ‘I was really surprised to find out that my entry had won and I am excited to receive the CV reference from Simon Rogan. Once I leave school, I would love to pursue a career in the culinary industry and this competition gave me the opportunity to express my love for food in a really creative way.’

Madison’s chorizo and butterbean stew recipe


  • 1 chorizo, cut into equal sized-chunks
  • 2 tins butter beans
  • 1 carton tomato passata
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 orange pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced


  1. Add the chorizo to a large non-stick pot on the hob over medium heat, and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until it starts to turn brown.
  2. Add the onions and garlic to the pan, and fry on a medium heat for a few minutes, before adding the chopped tomatoes, passata and stock.
  3. Add the butter beans and pepper, stir well and bring up to the boil before reducing back down to simmer, cover and cook on a low heat for around 20 minutes.
  4. Check seasoning before serving and serve the stew in bowls (with a freshly baked loaf to accompany).