Blue Whale Apple Competition – the Winners

Six chefs will be heading off to France in October as guests of Wellocks and Blue Whale after winning our apple challenge competition held in May to create a dish using a Granny Smith, Braeburn, Joya or Pink Lady apple. Our winning chefs are: Mark Birchall of Moor Hall, Dan Birk of Social Eating House, Steve Groves of Roux at Parliament Square, Danny Parker of House of Tides, Steve Smith of the Freemasons Arms and Michael Wignall of Gidleigh Park.

Granny Smith was the outright favourite with five of our winning chefs choosing the sharp tart flavour of these apples as a key ingredient in their dishes. Braeburns were chosen by only one chef – Mark Birchall for his winning dessert.

All six chefs have won a trip to the Toulouse-Cahors region in south-west France to visit the Blue Whale orchards and packhouse for a two-night stay that includes meals and a vineyard tour.

Dishes, entered via twitter and Instagram, were judged on various elements, including inventiveness, creativity, presentation and innovation by three representatives from Wellocks and two from Blue Whale.

Wellocks development chef, and one of the judges, Leigh Myers, said: “Many thanks to all of our fabulous chefs and customers who entered their apple dishes. It was really hard to pick winners but these dishes impressed us because of the high skill and techniques used.”
Recipes will be posted online at a later date. To find out more about Blue Whale apples, click here.

Blue Whale Apples Winning Dishes

Honey beer, Blue Whale Braeburn apples, aged caramel and marigold by Chef-Patron Mark Birchall, Moor Hall, Aughton.


Scallop ceviche, cauliflower yoghurt, black curry, walnut, Blue Whale Granny Smith apple, celery, lovage oil by Head Chef Dan Birk, Social Eating House, London.


Dorset crab, Blue Whale Granny Smith apple dashi, Orkney scallop by Head Chef Steve Groves, Roux at Parliament Square, London.


Scallop, Blue Whale Granny Smith apple, lovage and truffle by Head Chef Danny Parker, House of Tides, Newcastle.


Suckling pig, black pudding and Blue Whale Granny Smith apples by Chef-Patron Steve Smith, Freemasons, Wiswell.


Smoked eel, Blue Whale Granny Smith apple, white chocolate and caviar by Executive Chef Michael Wignall, Gidleigh Park, Devon.