England young chef team tunes skills ahead of global cook-off
A group of UCB students and alumni has been fine-tuning its skills ahead of this year’s Culinary World Cup - one of the world’s leading competitions for young chefs - in 12 weeks.
The nine-strong National English Junior Team will head to Luxembourg in November and the chefs have been busy on an intensive two-day session working with a number of experts and award-winning chefs including Mark Hill, executive chef for the House of Commons.
Mark explained that the practice days had been arranged to prepare the team for the competition when they hope to claim gold after scooping a haul of silver and bronze medals when they last took part four years ago.
He said: “The point of the days was to make sure that when it comes to the competition, and they are in a new kitchen working under a new pressure, they can handle the situation if it doesn’t quite go to plan.
“It’s not about telling them what to do because the ideas come from them, but it is about suggesting how they might add some finesse to what’s there.”
More than half of the team are either current or former UCB students, including captain Edward Marsh who is a chef at The Manor, Wiltshire, and vice-captain Jack Gameson, who graduates from UCB with a first class Culinary Arts Management (CAM) degree in September and works as a pastry chef at Warwick Castle.
Team manager and UCB lecturer Mathew Shropshall oversaw the two days and the other mentors were chef Luke Tipping from Simpsons of Edgbaston and Peter Griffiths MBE, president of the British Culinary Federation (BCF).
Peter said: “I was suitably impressed, not only with the standard of the finished dishes, the skills and technical ability shown but also the solid team work. All members supported each other totally.
“They were focused and committed with one aim in mind: to win a gold medal for their country, themselves and the British Culinary Federation.”
Sponsored by Electrolux Professional, Steelite International, Major International and Continental Chefs Supplies, the team’s main supporter is the British Culinary Federation (BCF).