Following a record number of entries, and some very tough decisions for our judges, the winners of the 2018 British Roast Dinner Week competition have been decided.
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Here are the national and regional winners of this year's competition:
- Matt Healy x The Foundry, Leeds
- Croxton's, Southsea (South East & East of England)
- The Kings Arms, Georgeham (South West)
- The Red Lion, Stafford (Midlands & Wales)
- Matt Healy x The Foundry, Leeds (North & Scotland)
We caught up with the head chefs and owners to get their reactions to winning the competition, and to find out a little bit more about their roasts.
How does it feel to be our national winner? We’re so chuffed to have beaten some incredible restaurants from across Britain to take home the title of Best Roast Dinner. Our roast dinners have proved such a hit that we get booked up weeks in advance, and we’ve had such positive feedback from diners. It’s great that the judges agree and think our offering is the very best that Britain has to offer.
How many roast dinners do you sell in an average week? It varies, between 70 and 100! After winning the British Roast Dinner Week award, word has started to spread about the quality of our roast. As a result we have over 100 booked in for this Sunday. As a 44 cover restaurant, that’s not bad going!
When is your busiest time of week (and year)? We’d always say Saturday nights are the busiest. It's hard to say our busiest time of year as we’ve only been open six months! But we’re set for an incredibly busy Christmas.
Why do you think your roast was a winner? I believe our roast dinner is such a winner because it’s a hearty and warming plate of food. All the chefs in the kitchen spend a lot of time a week preparing and ensuring the roasts are consistently good. We use rich gravies, homemade Yorkshire’s, and local suppliers for the roasts too.
Is there a particular butcher you use? We use the award-winning local butcher, Buckwells of Southsea, for her homemade lamb faggots that go on the roasted leg of lamb roast.
What makes your roast such a winner? We think it's because of the produce we use! We have some fantastic local West Country suppliers, who provide us with high-quality meat and vegetables. We also serve our roast family-style, so it’s great to see families helping themselves to more, as our portions are rather generous!
How big is the team at The Kings Arms? The team here in the summer is 25 strong, but now we are approaching the winter we are closer to 10-12. On Sundays, it’s our busiest day so we can have 10 staff on when it’s busier.
What makes your roast a winner? I believe our lunch is a winner because we believe in giving the customer the perfect Sunday lunch. Good quality produce, with all the trimmings and plenty of it! Fresh veggies, cauliflower cheese, braised red cabbage, and on every plate huge Yorkshire pudding, beef dripping roast potatoes, and pork and apricot stuffing.
How many covers a week do you serve? We serve between 500-700 covers a week depending on the time of year, and we average 130 covers a week for Sunday lunch.
Is the roast your most popular dish? Yes, the Sunday roast is the most popular choice - a slice of each meat being the number one choice for people. Roast turkey, medium rare 28-day aged sirloin of beef, or stuffed and rolled pork belly.