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One Pot Cook Off Champion at 2009 Food & Drink Festival

A domestic master chef took to the Chester stage and delivered his award-winning stew in front of a packed audience at the Food and Drink Festival.

The second annual One Pot Cook Off Champion Dave Purcell, following a cook off held at the Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel Golf & Spa, gave a demonstration of his tender lamb casserole at the Chester Food and Drink Festival. Dave, 52, an educational welfare officer for Halton Borough Council, also gained some culinary tips from TV celebrity chef Simon Rimmer. The annual event highlights the passion Macdonald Hotels has in sourcing the best seasonal and local food available for its customers.

More than 50 entrants were short-listed to three Finalists who were judged at the Whitchurch based hotel by last year’s winner, Bhupinder Virdee-Lace, Jane Casson of Made in Cheshire and Reaseheath College and Mark Astbury, Head-Chef at the The Hill Valley Hotel.

Dave won a professional cookery pot and a complimentary weekend for two at the Hill Valley Hotel. Runners-up were gardener Steve Beech, 48, of No Man’s Heath, Malpas, with his hash lemon gherkin dish, which included local lamb, vegetables and red wine and Darren Chard, 29, a soldier at Chester’s Dale Barracks, who cooked chicken supreme. Steve Beech’s son, Daniel, won the under-16 Junior Chef competition at last year’s Chester Food and Drink Festival.

Kate Halewood, General Manager for The Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa, said:

“This was a great opportunity to showcase Dave’s casserole at the Chester Food and Drink Festival and the way that Macdonald Hotels use local produce. We are delighted to be taking part in the Chester Food and Drink Festival for the second time and pleased that this has become such a successful event. The One Pot Cook Off is a fantastic competition and we will commit to a third year. Dave is a very charismatic chef and got some great tips from Simon Rimmer; perhaps we will see Dave on TV soon! The audience were very interested in the casserole, which is an economic meal in these tough financial times. This competition highlights the passion Macdonald Hotels puts into their cuisine. Macdonald Hotels’ philosophy is to use sustainable food stocks.”

The dishes at the Hill Valley Hotel competition could not take any longer than 30 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook, using just one pot and competitors could not work as a chef in a professional capacity.
The Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf and Spa is set in peaceful private grounds just 20 miles from Chester and Shrewsbury and under an hour from Manchester and Liverpool airports.
Well-known as one of the Top 10 golf venues in the UK, Hill Valley boasts two 18-hole golf courses, a brand new luxury Spa and health club and conference facilities for up to 300. With 81 individual bedroom experiences, every care has been taken to provide modern luxury facilities.
Macdonald Hotels & Resorts Limited operates 48 well-located hotels across the UK and ten resorts throughout the UK and Spain. The company employs over 4,400 staff and operates in excess of 3900 rooms.



“I’ve been working with Marketing Projects on PR for more than a year now and I am very impressed; They don’t stop getting us coverage when the press release goes out but keep on going, maximising our coverage.
Our previous PR agency were based a distance away and did not know the Cheshire and Shropshire areas, but Marketing Projects know the North West area so well and have so many contacts which means they present additional PR opportunities to me, such as the cheese rolling down Bridge Street in Chester, which was free publicity. They organised mentions for HillValley on BBC Radio 2 and also on BBC North West Tonight on the lunch time and evening slots. They also presented me with further radio interview opportunities including an hour long conversation on Cheshire FM.
Marketing Projects go that step further than other PR agencies; Marketing Projects have produced a DVD for both years we have staged the One Pot Cook Off, as an added value service on top of writing and distributing the release – I am delighted with our PR coverage and would thoroughly recommend Marketing Projects, who provide a full and excellent value PR service.”

General Manager, Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel Golf & Spa

Hospitality/Food & Drink, PR

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