A St Annes restaurant took on the biggest names in the country and won, bringing home a national award.
The Olive Tree Brasserie which was founded on the Fylde coast, but now has sites in Cheshire, stood up against Japanese chain YO! Sushi and Southern-based gourmet burger operator Hache Burgers, to walk home with the prize of Best Menu Development at the Eat Out Magazine Awards in London.
Owner Dean Wilson, 32, who has who set up the business 10 years ago in his hometown, said he was “delighted” with the win.
He said: “Winning among my peers and battling it out against people like Yo! Sushi wasn’t easy but it just shows that our hard work and determination to create some of the best Greek food around has paid off.
“Over the past decade we’ve always tried to push the boundaries of conventional Greek cuisine and had great feedback from our customers about it - now it’s great to have that industry recognition too.”
Alongside an executive head chef Dean creates all of the dishes from scratch and travels to mainland Greece and the Greek islands bi-annually to further his knowledge about new produce and current trends in the Med.
He recently visited the Athens Street Food Festival, in Gazi and spent time touring the islands learning about new techniques, ideas and innovations from Greek chefs.
He added: “When you offer authentic cuisine to your customers it’s really important that it is just that - authentic.
“It’s been one of the mainstays of our menus and will continue to be throughout our expansion.”
Around 40 per cent of the menu at the Olive Tree Brasserie is made with produce directly from Greece while the other 60 per cent is sourced as locally as possible from butchers and farmers in the North West.
Dean has recently acquired a fourth site and the opening forms part of a wider expansion plan, adding to sites in Chester, Preston and St Annes, that he hopes will help grow his Greek restaurant chain throughout the North West and nation-wide.