Lecturers savour success after winning inter-university cooking challenge

April 2017

A determined duo of lecturers from UCB’s College of Food are savouring success after winning one of the UK’s top cooking challenges for university chefs – over half a decade since they last cooked competitively.

Glyn Jacklin and Richard Dutton were thrilled to be presented with the TUCO Chefs’ Challenge trophy by TV chef Brian Turner CBE at a glittering ceremony attended by over 400 guests.

The pair were up against teams from 23 other UK universities, tasked with cooking a three-course meal for two covers from a list of ingredients supplied three weeks before the event.

Turning the tables from scrutinising students’ work to putting their own under the spotlight, the duo impressed with a salmon with peas à la Français starter, loin and breast of lamb with spinach, artichoke and pommes purée main, and dessert of chocolate mousse, lime and coconut ice cream.

While many chef lecturers at UCB regularly take part in cooking challenges, Glyn said it was the first time Richard and himself had taken part in a competition in over five years.

“You’d normally find us mentoring students for competitions, so while we were excited, it was all a bit daunting too,” said Glyn, who has been with UCB for five years and previously worked with Richard at Birmingham’s 2 AA Rosette Regency Restaurant at Meriden Manor Hotel.  

“When we found out we’d won, we were absolutely thrilled, an amazing feeling.”

Organised by TUCO (The University Caterers Organisation), the challenge was open to all levels and was the opportunity to demonstrate teamwork, skills and talent before a live audience. 

As first prize, Glyn and Richard will be jetting off on a study tour to San Sebastian in Spain in May.

As well as Brian Turner CBE, President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and presenter of BBC series My Life On A Plate and Taste of Britain, the challenge was judged by:

  • Peter Griffiths MBE
  • Stephanie Moon, chef consultant
  • Andy Waters, owner of Waters Restaurant
  • Simon Webb, head chef at Restaurant Associates
  • Jerry Toth, chef director of Sundial Group
  • Andrew Ditchfield, head pastry chef at the House of Commons
  • Geoff Ward, renowned environmental health practitioner 
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