Snack attack: Local pub chef named as finalist in national sausage roll contest

Posted 24th January 2017

A chef from newly reopened gastropub the Knife & Cleaver in Houghton Conquest has been shortlisted as a competitor in the Great British Sausage Roll Off 2017.

Jon Leyton, who is sous chef at the Bedfordshire gastropub, is among 20 talented chefs from around the UK who have been selected to compete in this prestigious cook-off contest which is taking place this week on Wednesday, 25th January.

Finalists will bake their own take on a sausage roll for the competition, which recognises chefs who add care, quality, expertise and that little ‘je ne sais quois’ to the most British of bar snacks.

Jon is hoping to impress the judging panel, which includes top chef Pierre Koffmann and Mark Poynton chef/patron, of the Michelin-starred Restaurant Alimentum in Cambridge, with his delicious game sausage roll.

He is creating a Pere David’s Woburn Estate venison, girolles and apricot sausage roll served with a sloe gin, walnut and onion relish.

Jon has worked at the Knife & Cleaver, part of Epic Managers which is led by successful local pub operator Andrew Coath, since it opened in October last year.

He previously worked at Hertfordshire pub the Hermit of Redcoats which won Best Gastropub in the Herts Food & Drink Awards 2015.

Jon says: “I’m really excited to be taking part in this great competition and delighted to be using venison, which is one of my favourite ingredients, from our local supplier Woburn Foods as a key ingredient in my sausage roll.

“This is no ordinary bar snack and I’m getting ready to roll on Wednesday and really hope my dish will impress the judges.”

The contest, now in its fifth year, is hosted at pub The Red Lion in Barnes, London.

Money raised at the Great Sausage Roll Off 2017 is going to charity Shooting Star Chase, a leading childrens’ hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families. Competition organiser Angus McKean says: “The roll off gives this much overlooked buffet item the attention it deserves. A bit like the X Factor meets Masterchef, it is an evening of crazy culinary pleasure, taken in the most seriously light hearted way.”

The Knife & Cleaver’s regularly changing menus feature the best in British produce.

The pub hosts a weekly Monday quiz night, Thursday Meat and Cleaver steak night and has just launched a take-away pizza menu.