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MK Food Awards Chef of the Year cook-off takes place at The Brasserie

Thu 29 Mar 2018 - posted by MK College

Seven chefs from in and around Milton Keynes took part in the intense competition, which included blind box and creative challenges. The Brasserie hosted the event on 29th March, bringing professional chefs, local business owners and students together.

Chefs were nominated by their venues, giving them the chance to show off a variety of their skills. The cook-off lasted three hours, with each competitor having an hour a piece to create two portions of a starter, main and dessert, to be presented to the judges for tasting and examining. They also had to choose their ingredients from a mystery box, meaning they had to use their initiative and creativity to come up with recipes.

The chefs were judged in a variety of categories, including skill, complexity, timing, presentation and taste. One of the judges, Paul Eason from Blanco Nino, said: “We also look at how they work and their methodology, as well as how tidy there are and how they prioritise hygiene. It’s good to see them under pressure as we can offer helpful advice – but not too much!”

Every finalist had a MK College student working as their commis chef, offering the students invaluable experience in working under intense pressure working alongside professional chefs already working in the industry.

The judging panel consists of professionals from the hospitality and catering industry, local business owners and local bloggers.

Maria Bowness, Head of Hair, Beauty, Catering, Hospitality and Events at MK College, said: “The cook-offs for the MK Food Awards Chef of the Year competition is always an exciting event to host and be a part of. To have a large number of local professionals on site working with our students is a fantastic opportunity for them. We’re also incredibly proud to have the first female competitor in the competition representing The Brasserie. We hope this will encourage more women to enter the hospitality & catering industry, as we are facing a national chef shortage – and we need more people to get pursue this career pathway”.

The top three chefs will be named and honoured on 13th May at the MK Food Awards ceremony.

Chefs competing
Shane Clarke – The Swan – Milton Keynes Village
William Bowman-Smith – Nonna’s – Woburn Sands
Owen Seamark – The Garage – Buckingham
Sachin Pandey – Mk Buffet Village
Andre Sadnani – Hilton Double Tree
James Bird – The Cross Keys – Woolstones
Laura Fedoriw – The Brasserie – MK College

Judging panel
Phil Fanning – Paris House
Trevor Garrod – Savona Foods
Paul Capener – The Bell Hotel – Winslow
Gavin Sokhi – Director of Skyline Taxi’s
Spencer Ollington – Chef/business owner – previous winner
Paul Eason – Blanco Nino
Jeff Payne – Jeff the Chef Catering
Sophie from Sophieetc.com
Louise from @Loubou

AB Fruits supplied all fruit and vegetable ingredients for the competition, with Koppert Cress supplying microherbs, used in the competitors' recipes.