A team from New City College in London has been crowned winners of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2022.
Sam Paoli, Maria V Carbone and Paulo Dela Cruz, under the guidance of lecturer Jeff Mason, triumphed under the watchful eyes of the Craft Guild of Chefs judges in intense competition conditions.
Competing against seven other colleges from around the UK, the talented student chefs had to recreate their menus and present them to the Craft Guild of Chefs judges within 90 minutes in front of a live theatre audience at the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) Show in London.
As well as claiming the Country Range Student Chef Challenge title, the New City College team were awarded gold standard from the HRC. The team from Hertford Regional College finished in second place (silver standard) and the trio from Loughborough College took third (silver standard).
New City College’s winning menu consisted of:
Seeded tuile, avocado and spinach purée and smoked salmon.
Teriyaki marinated smoked eel sushi roll.
Potato farl, chive mousse, smoked trout and cucumber pearls.
Poached breast of guinea fowl with mousseline, braised leg and leek croquette, wild mushroom and braised barley, shallot purée, pea purée, crispy shallots, buttered petit pois, wild mushroom and guinea fowl jus.
Chocolate and orange tartlet, orange streusel, vanilla and orange ice cream, poached orange, orange and Cointreau sauce.
Chris Basten, chairman of the judges from the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “Huge congratulations to the New City College team on a marvellous and deserving victory. Each dish on their menu was well-executed, flavour-packed and showed real skill and creativity. To come to the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Show’s kitchens for the first time and cook to that standard is a fantastic achievement and one which all three of the chefs should be extremely proud of.”
Country Range Group head of marketing and Challenge organiser Emma Holden added: “Well done to the team at New City College for coming out on top in the Challenge. It was an intense final, and the standard on show from all the chefs was terrific.”
In addition to the glory of winning and their certificates and medals, the successful team members will receive the following prizes:
• An overnight stay and meal at a Michelin star restaurant.
• A stage working and learning what Michelin-level cooking is all about.
• A Country Range Student Chef Challenge engraved Flint & Flame knife.