Published: 13:03, 11 October 2021
| Updated: 16:30, 12 October 2021
A popular village gastro pub is toasting more success after its head chef was crowned the UK's best young cook.
Sam McClurkin of The Dog at Wingham has just earned the accolade in the Great British Pub Awards 2021.
General manager Marc Bridgen said he was "immensely proud" of him and the award which coincided with the pub celebrating its fifth birthday in the current ownership.
"It crowns a brilliant start to Sam's career, having already earned The Dog two AA rosettes for four years, best pub food title in the British Pub Awards 2019 and helping to steer us to a place in the Top 50 Gastro Pubs," he said.
"Sam and his talented team work incredibly hard in very demanding roles and are simply one of the best in the business."
The 25-year-old chef studied cookery at the former East Kent College, now Broadstairs College, before landing roles in the kitchen of TV chef Tom Kerridge's pub, The Hand & Flowers in Marlow and the Michelin-starred Sportsman at Seasalter.
Marc said: "Sam initially joined us a chef de partie in 2017 but his flair, skill and determination were evident and he quickly rose to become our head chef."
Sam says he is delighted to have won the award.
"I am extremely proud and honoured to be receiving such an important award which I will cherish," he said.
"It has left me speechless and I thank everyone of my team for helping me in this achievement."