US based McIlhenny Company, which was founded over 150 years ago, make the original world famous Tabasco sauce, established the Hot Chef UK competition to find the nations’ finest Tabasco talent. The top prize for the winning chef was a fabulous trip to the home of Tabasco; Avery Island in Lafayette, Louisiana, with the lucky winner experiencing the region’s cuisine and culture.

The chefs faced three heats as the judges devoured and deliberated over which Tabasco packed a punch and who would victor as top Tabasco chef.

Charley said of the experience '‘It was an amazing opportunity to participate in the contest, from a young age I’ve always been interested in cooking, my uncle is a chef too so it must run in the family. During the heats I’ve met lots of talented people including some of the most regarded chefs within the industry so it’s truly been an honour to participate, I’ve enjoyed every second".

As a Level 3 student, Charley is passionate in a variety of cuisines and would love to work abroad and see the world whilst gaining further experience within the catering industry.

Charley was short listed for the competition by Judges from Tabasco and Lynn Mitchinson, Charleys' Teacher who said "It’s just amazing to see one of our very own TyneMet catering students do so well in a national competition, Charleys’ recipe was a culinary hit with both staff and students. Charley should be really proud to come in the top ten of the competition and we look forward to further success in next year’s NECTAR awards which is the North Easts largest catering competition"

Charley’s dishes often feature in our Retreat Bistro here at TyneMet's Coast Road Campus - to book a table and sample dishes from some of the regions finest, future chefs visit and to find out more about Tynemet's range of profesional cookery courses visit, visit

Terrific Tabasco facts

  • Up to 700,000 bottles of tabasco can be manufactured at the McIlhenny Tabasco factory
  • There are 60 drops per teaspoon within a bottle of tabasco sauce
  • The heat if a chilli is measured by the Scoville scale invented in 1912 by pharmacist, Wilbur L. Scoville.
  • The Scoville Scale measures the capsicum, the chemical within the chills that gives the pepper its hot, fiery flavour.

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