Wenlock Spring is supporting this year's Wessex Salon Culinaire and share their thoughts on how it helps the industry and which category they would enter.

Wessex Salon Culinaire is a fantastic event for our industry because the industry needs to promote excellence and to be seen to be rewarding this - everyone in the industry should be proud to be associated with it and should be encouraging youngsters to make hospitality a first choice career.

We decided to sponsor Wessex Salon Culinaire because it encourages aspiring chefs and promotes the importance of attention to detail for front of house - such as the napkin folding competition. After all, visitors to any establishment see the table before they see the food - and you only have one chance at creating a great first impression. 

Our message for all those competing would be 'do your very best, enjoy the experience and learn from your fellow competitors'.

If we could enter any of the classes it would be table presentation as you always need to make room for a bottle of Wenlock Spring!

Chefs should enter Wessex Salon because.... Competition makes everyone raise their standards - challenging oneself and learning new techniques is very motivating and winning a Gold must be the best feeling ever.

 

 

The search is on for this year's British BBQ Battle Champion, so get your creative juices flowing...

Devise and submit a winning 3-course BBQ menu that takes a spin on British favourites and you could be walking away with a £3,000 Crown Verity BBQ plus £1,000's worth of other prizes and the title of 'Crown Verity British BBQ Champion'!

But hurry, the deadline for entries is Friday 2nd May 2014.

Chefs from all walks of the foodservice industry are invited to enter. All you need to do is submit a brief description of your starter, main course and dessert that can all be prepared on a BBQ.

You must use at least one Lion sauce in one of your courses. There's a choice of Lion BBQ and hot sauces, salsas and chutneys, mustards, and mayonnaise and dressings (see www.lionsauces.co.uk for the range) - so get as creative, unique and inspirational as you like!

Entries will be shortlisted by the President of the British BBQ Association and Britain's Best BBQer at the World BBQ Championships, Ben Bartlett.

The eight shortlisted chefs will be invited to compete for the title at a live BBQ cook-off final on 18th June at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, where they will have to create their 3-courses within a 1 hour time frame. On the day, Ben Bartlett and his co-judges will be scoring the chefs not only on the taste and appearance of their final dishes, but for BBQ cooking techniques too. So the heat will be on!

For the live final, Crown Verity BBQs, powered by Calor LPGenius gas (ideal for precision barbecuing) will be provided for each finalist to cook on and they will also receive samples of their selected Lion sauces in advance of the final.                                                                                    

All eight finalists will be rewarded with a Sharp LED TV, a Simply Stainless Professional Chef's table and exclusive British BBQ Battle chef's whites. The winner will also walk away with a top of the range Crown Verity BBQ and accessories pack. All prizes, worth an estimated £11,000 are kindly provided by leading foodservice equipment supplier RH Hall, the exclusive distributor in the UK for Crown Verity, Sharp and Simply Stainless.

To enter the British BBQ Battle 2014, visit www.britishbbqbattle.co.uk and complete the online entry form. It's free and simple to enter. Closing date for entries is Friday 2nd May 2014.

This is the third year of the Crown Verity BBQ Competition. Main competition sponsors are Crown Verity and RH Hall, but this year the BBQ Battle welcomes new co-sponsors Lion Sauces and Calor Gas.

2013 Winners:

Overall BBQ Battle winner: Fiona Dulake from The Boot Pub, St Albans

2013 Category Winners

Hotel category winner: Steve Munkley, Royal Garden Hotel

Pub category winner: Fiona Dulake, The Boot Pub

University category winner: Ben Elsbury, University of Kent

Golf Club & Event Catering category winner: Alexander Bone, Catering Direct, Burnham on Crouch Golf Club

Wessex Salon Culinaire takes place next month and one of our sponsors, Essential Cuisine shares why they support this event and why chefs should enter.

 

Wessex Salon Culinaire is a fantastic event for our industry because it gives those looking to enhance their reputations in hospitality the stage upon which they can demonstrate their skill and ability.  This why we love supporting worthwhile schemes like this. Young people are the lifeblood of our industry and it's imperative that we continue to bang the drum for their development.

 

We decided to sponsor Wessex Salon Culinaire because as a proud member of the Craft Guild of Chefs, nothing gives us greater pleasure than seeing young chefs achieve their full potential.

 

Our message for all those competing would be hold your nerve, do your best and try to enjoy it. Win or lose, the experience will help shape your future endeavors.

 

Chefs should enter Wessex Salon because competitive experience is invaluable in the development of a professional chef - Wessex Salon Culinaire represents the perfect opportunity for young chefs to get a tantalising taste of the heat of competition.

 

CHEFS, YOU HAVE AN EXTRA WEEK TO ENTER!

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The Craft Guild of Chefs has extended the paper entry deadline for its National Chef of the Year 2014. Chefs now have until Friday April 18th to download and submit their entry for paper judging. Entry forms can be downloaded from http://craftguildofchefs.org/national-chef-year-2014-open-entries-1

This year's brief is to produce a creative lunch menu for four guests within two hours.  The menu must reflect one of the following three categories:

Asian / Oriental,

Modern British / Modern European 

Rest of the World/Other

In addition, the menu must consist of:

A vegetable focused starter

A main course using locally sourced fresh white fish, with appropriate accompaniments

A dessert using summer fruits, served hot or cold. 

David Mulcahy, the competition's organiser and Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs says, "We've already received some strong entries but we know that there are chefs out there who should be in the running. Taking part in National Chef of the Year is a rewarding challenge for any chef and for those who reach the finals it can provide a huge career boost - just ask the previous winners!"

Key dates for the National Chef of the Year 2014 are as follows: 

Monday May 12th - Paper judging

Friday May 16th - Semi-finalists announced

Tuesday June 10th - Semi-final heats at Sheffield College

Wednesday June 25th - Semi-final heats at Le Cordon Bleu, London

Tuesday October 7th - National Chef of the Year final at The Restaurant Show, London

For more information visit http://craftguildofchefs.org

 

Notes to editors

 

For photography, interviews and more information please email Michelle Diederichs, michelle@koyahpr.co.uk or call Michelle on 07814 028 664.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top student chefs from eight colleges are set to cook up a storm as they battle it out to be crowned winners of the Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge in front of a live audience at Hotelympia. 

The eight teams reached the final after a series of live regional heats judged by leading chefs including Craft Guild of Chefs National Chairman, Christopher Basten and Mark Irish, Head of Food Development at Brakes, where they served up dishes based around the competition's 'Back to Basics' challenge.  As well as preparing innovative and tasty dishes, the students were also required to show exceptional technique, and the ability to work as a team, use local and regional ingredients, and demonstrate their ability to cost a menu.

Teams from South Lanarkshire College, Mid Kent College, Westminster Kingsway College, South Eastern Regional College, Stratford Upon Avon College, Herefordshire and Ludlow College, The Sheffield City College and Farnborough College of Technology will now meet in the live cook-off final.

According to the judges, the standard of entries to this year's challenge, which is sponsored by BD Foods and ABP Food Group and supported by the Craft Guild of Chefs, was exceptional.  With just 1hour and 45minutes to create their three course signature menu, the three person teams of full-time catering and hospitality students, wowed the judges with dishes including sugar cured mackerel with rhubarb and ginger, braised pig cheeks, a roasted fillet of pork, glazed carrots, charred leeks, black pudding filled pommes soufflé and cider jus and egg custard, spiced plum compote, buttered nutmeg wafer and nutmeg meringue.  

Judge Mark Irish said: "The standard of the students this year has been unbelievable and it's great to see that the industry has some fantastic talent coming through.   All the teams have really turned up the heat in the kitchen to showcase their catering talents. We're really looking forward to seeing how they perform against each other in the final."

The live competition final will take place at Hotelympia's Salon Culinaire at Excel London. The winner of the 2013/14 Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge will receive prizes including a once in a lifetime five-day work experience week, along with an invitation to join and assist the Craft Guild of Chefs culinary team at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg. Both prizes will be hosted by Christopher Basten.

Samuel Jones from Westminster Kingsway College, one of the finalists, said: "It's already been an incredible experience and the competition has really helped us to develop our catering skills, We are really excited to be cooking in front of a live audience at the final, we realise that it's a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we've learnt."

For full details on the Student Chef Team Challenge please visit www.brakesstudentchef.co.uk


 

Why did you want to get involved with the Craft Guild of Chefs' Skillery?

 

As a leading distributor in the Foodservice industry throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe we felt it vital that we show support to the great talent we have to offer in the UK from leading chefs to trainees. The support we feel can only enhance the overall standards within the industry and perhaps one day will allow the students of today become the buyers of tomorrow.

 

What products will you be promoting at the event?

 

There a number of presentation themes available to see for the first time at Hotelympia including three new ranges of porcelain, a host of "party time" miniature sets as well new presentation display pieces.

Which chef demos are you looking forward to hearing?

 

Certainly the line-up is very exciting and there a number of people to catch the imagination, but of course we are intrigued and excited to see Sudha Shankar Saha and Steve Walpole, two very contrasting styles that are sure to catch the imagination of those who are there.

How do events like Hotelympia help the hospitality industry?

 

Hotelympia is still our industries premier event, a chance for those of us to not only launch new designs or contemporary trends but to network with those from all walks of life within the industry. It's fascinating to hear the views and opinions of such a diverse customer base and this is only possible at events like this.

What else will you be doing during your visit to Hotelympia?

We are obviously exhibiting at the event and have arranged meetings with a vast number of current clients and indeed have already taken appointments form a host of major groups wishing to review their service aspects in terms of presentation.

What are you doing a demo on at the Craft Guild of Chefs' Skillery?

Concept is refining Indian cuisine with a touch of finesse using more of local and seasonal produce infused with spice, modern twist and western presentation.

Why did you decide to get involved with the Skillery?

Getting involved with the Craft Guild of Chefs' skillery is an honour as it gives more exposure to the industry. And also get introduced to some of the top industry chefs as well.

How do events like the Craft Guild of Chefs Skillery help the industry? 

Events like this helps the industry to get recognised, and it is more informative, it demonstrates the latest development happening in the world of gastronomic feet.

What other demos are you hoping to watch at the Skillery?

I am doing my demo on 28th so i will try to come early in order to watch the other fellow chefs demo on that day.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given in the workplace?

Stick to basic, practice and learn more, as knowledge will give you confidence.

 

Why did you want to get involved with the Craft Guild of Chefs' Skillery?


Many Chefs started their careers as an Apprentice and we wanted to raise the awareness of work based learning as a career

What products will you be promoting at the event?

We will be promoting Traineeships and Apprenticeships to employers, asking them to open their door to young people putting their first steps into employment

Which chef demos are you looking forward to hearing?

Alyn Williams, Tom Kerridge and all the new kids on the block

How do events like Hotelympia help the hospitality industry?

Hotelympia is the biggest platform showcasing new ideas, skills and brings like minded people together

What else will you be doing during your visit to Hotelympia?

Looking at new products, latest trends

 

Why did you want to get involved with the Craft Guild of Chefs' Skillery?

As the industry leader of Authentic Chinese Sauces, Lee Kum Kee always endeavour to uplift the standard of chefs in the industry.


What products will you be promoting at the event?

Premium Oyster Sauce as it is the essential ingredient for Chinese cooking. It can be used as a meat marinade, braising sauce in casseroles and mushrooms, seasoning in stir-fries, dipping sauce & noodle dressing.

Which chef demos are you looking forward to hearing?

Andrew Wong

How do events like Hotelympia help the hospitality industry?

They bring the whole industry together in terms of new techniques, skills, services and products.

What else will you be doing during your visit to Hotelympia?

 We are one of the exhibitors (through our distributor Petty Wood) in the show.

 

What are you doing a demo on at the Craft Guild of Chefs' Skillery?

I am going to cook some of the dishes from our May menu... I will be supported by my National Chef of the Year wingman, Peter Ley 

 

Why did you decide to get involved with the Skillery?

I was asked as the current NCOTY and am doing a demo sponsored by Churchill

 

How do events like the Craft Guild of Chefs Skillery help the industry? 

They are great, you can learn little nuggets and skills from all the chefs and the guild always pick a diverse and relevant cross section of the industry 

 

What other demos are you hoping to watch at the Skillery?

I am going to be busy at the show, as have some other commitments, I am judging some of the live cooking classes and am part of the panel for a Dragons Den style business task that sounds very exciting.  I hope to make time to See Tom Kerridge not just for his 'Lush" food but the way he delivers his demo with great banter and humour.  I am on just after Alyn Williams so will definitely get to see him as I am setting up. 

 

What's the best piece of advice you've been given in the workplace?

2 eyes and ears but 1 mouth - so use them in that ratio! In other words, keep your head down, work hard, listen and watch however don't be afraid to ask the right questions.

 

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