June 2018

Chef lecturers go Dutch at TUCO Chef's Challenge

Read time: approx 2 mins

Chef lecturers Richard Taylor and Giovanni Di-Vito are taking the trip of a lifetime after winning gold at The University Caterer’s Organisation (TUCO) Chef’s Challenge. Scoring top marks at the competition’s final, they are now set to fly to the Netherlands on 13 June for a three-day study tour on trendy micro-greens.

Open to paying TUCO members and members of the public, the tour will take Richard and Gio to the Hague, where they will learn everything there is to know about microgreens and horticulture in cookery. A packed programme of cooking, tasting opportunities and top-quality meals will keep the pair busy, as they network with other figures from the industry keen to explore this rapidly growing trend.

To secure the prize, Richard and Gio cooked for two hours in front of a live audience at the University of Warwick. Each team, from a total of 17 universities, was required to cook a three-course meal involving rainbow trout, a notoriously difficult-to-handle fish, and an entire Gressingham duck, a unique breed renowned for its superior taste.

Richard and Gio were dubbed a ‘class act’ by judges, finishing the challenge in first place by a large point margin. Often seen as the most prestigious of all TUCO competitions, UCB’s win made the front page of TUCO’s widely-circulated magazine with the title ‘Bringing back gold’ – alluding to the pair’s past successes as lecturers at the University and highly qualified chefs.

“Winning this contest amongst such stiff competition from other universities simply confirms UCB’s place at the top of the leader board,” said Gio, three-time winner of Midland Chef of the Year and winner of the Louis Cipolla award for Outstanding Contribution to Education.

“It has been a long time since either Richard or I entered a competition like this, so the pressure was on to make sure we got it right. But we were really happy with the final result, and are very excited to visit the Netherlands.”

Find out more about the courses taught by Richard and Gio at UCB’s College of Food.

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