Last night saw two RA chefs awarded first place at the Association of Catering Excellence’s (ACE) annual Ready Steady Cook competition.
The event, which champions up and coming young talent, was held at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf and it was RA’s Terry O’Riordan and Faye de Souza that managed to impress the judges the most and walk away with the first prize trophy.
ACE Ready Steady Cook – The Next Generation saw 14 teams of two chefs from some of the top companies in the foodservice industry plan and prepare a main course and dessert within 30 minutes using a selection of mystery ingredients that they had been given only half an hour before in front of a live audience of 300 people.
The main items were guinea fowl, a cannon of lamb, black pudding, a selection of fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits and store cupboard ingredients.
The competition focused on acknowledging the talented young chefs in the industry with each team including one chef aged under 25, including a number of apprentices. Competing for first prize were, Bartlett Mitchell, BaxterStorey, Blue Apple, Genuine Dining Company, Harbour and Jones, HIT, Holroyd Howe, ISS Food & Hospitality, Lexington, Lusso, Restaurant Associates, Sodexo, The Good Eating Company and Vacherin.
But the team from RA were victorious with their winning menu featuring pan-fried lamb with charred cauliflower, pickled courgette, tahini yoghurt and crispy shallots; dessert was smoked, salted dark chocolate mousse, pickled blackberries, roasted plums and spiced crumble.
Entries were judged by some of the most discerning experts in the industry – Mike Reid, Executive Chef at M Restaurant; Adam Handling, founder of The Frog Restaurant and his 19-year-old apprentice Connor Blades; and Daniel Ayton, World Vice President of the World Master Chef Society. Every chef in the competition was given a personalised Bragard chef jacket and a goody bag from prize sponsor Collins King, and first prize was a meal for the chefs and their partners at Monica Galetti’s ‘Mere’ Restaurant.
We’re so proud of our fantastic chefs – the second year in a row that an RA team have won this fast paced competition!!