Bath College hosted their annual Chef v Chef competition on 25th February. Six current local chefs, as well as groups of aspiring students competed in a variety of competitions; the Chefs vying for the Chef Champion title, and the students for best team, best knife skills and best Front of House service.
The morning focussed on the student competitions, students arrived and grouped into their teams. They then had 30 minutes to plan their two course dinner, including deciding what wines would pair with their food, and who would be in the kitchen and who would lead on the service. Each group had to produce a paupiette of plaice served with a suitable sauce and potato garnish of their choice, as well as a chocolate tart with appropriate accompaniment for dessert. The student selected to lead on service then took part in the Front of House challenge, demonstrating a napkin fold, cocktail and role play scenarios to the judges; Sylwia Ooger from Lympstone Manor and Stuart Shepherd, retired Front of House Manager. Once the students had completed their dishes, they presented one plate to the judges, for tasting and assessing, and served the other plates inside Bath College’s mock restaurant, where they were once again assessed on their customer interaction, their wine suggestions and how they had laid their tables.
Whilst this was happening, over in the other kitchen, more students were competing in a knife skills challenge. They had just 30 minutes to prepare 6 different vegetables, and cut them in 6 different classic styles (macedoine, paysanne, brunoise, julienne and chiffonade), and were marked from everything from their hygiene to the accuracy of their cuts.
The second half of the day was the Professional Challenge, 7 chefs from across the local area were shortlisted to compete; Andrew Jenkinson from Lucknam Park, Christian Orner from Salt Co, Dean Toon from Blunsdon Hotel, Jethro Lawrence from Woolley Grange, Henry Scott from Henry’s Restaurant, Frazer Carroll from No. 15 Great Pulteney Street and Jason Ramplin. Each professional had two and a half hours to compile a main course using game meat, and a dessert using Solkiki Chocolate, Williams Pear and Hazelnuts. Bath College students volunteered to act as Commis chefs for each professional during the challenge, to assist them with cooking but also to learn from the Professionals as they cooked. As with the student challenge, the Chefs needed to produce two plates; one for judging and one for presentation. The dishes looked fantastic, and were on display during the awards reception.
The judges really had their work cut out for them, and spent a while in the kitchen deliberating over who deserved the title. Once they had decided they joined the drinks reception ready for the awards presentation. Delicious canapés had been prepared by the students, and were being served with an assortment of drinks. The first award announced was the Knife Skills Challenge, which was taken by Joseph Rowe; next was the Front of House Challenge which was taken by Daniel Shermilt. The Team Challenge was won by Team Marcus Wareing, consisting of Lucy, Emily and Eryn. Finally, the Chef v Chef Champion was due to be announced, and Dean Toon from Woolley Grange was announced as the 2020 Chef V Chef Champion. Each competition took a long time to judge as each entry was so close, Scott Lucas from The Crafty Chef, and one of the judges commented:
“Sometimes you can pick a winner just by their dish, but today it was element by element, it was that close”
We want to say thank you to all our esteemed judges for taking time out of their day to judge the dishes:
- Micheal Nizzero from The Bath Priory
- Scott Lucas from The Crafty Chef
- Stuart Ash from Woods Restaurant
- Tracy Chapman from Chocolate Voyage
- Sylwia Ooger from Lympstone Manor
- Stuart Shepherd, retired Front of House Manager
We also want to congratulate all our winners:
Chef V Chef Champion
1st Place – Dean Toon
2nd Place – Frazer Carroll
3rd Place – Henry Scott
1st Place – Team Marcus Wareing (Lucy, Emily and Eryn)
2nd Place – Team Angela Hartnett (Millie, Vicky and Ciara)
3rd Place – Team Paul Bocuse (Ollie, Dan and Sophie)
Front of House Challenge
1st Place – Daniel Shermilt
2nd Place – Destiny Smith
3rd Place – Emily Hunt
Knife Skills Challenge
1st Place – Joseph Rowe
2nd Place – Jack Goult
3rd Place – Rebekah Paisley