Cecille Celebrates Student Pastry Win Copy

Cecille Youngs of West Suffolk College has won the 2024 Student Pastry Chef of the Year held at West London College on Tuesday 14th May. Penelope Garside from York College came second with Jazmin Williams of the the NPTC Group in third.

The theme of this year’s event was grab n go with the students asked to present 12 identical mono portions of their chosen dessert plus 2 entremets.

Head judge Franciane Tartari explained that grab n go is an important part of pastry kitchens these days and it was important for students to work with the concept. For the final Chefs’ Forum designer Lee Yarlett created a special box for the students to display their entries.

Cecille’s winning entry was: Coconut, passion fruit, mango, white chocolate & lime entremets and a rhubarb and pistachio mono dessert.

Cecille told The Chefs’ Forum: “I was so nervous at the beginning I thought I wasn’t to make it but the judges were all so helpful and encouraging and by the end I really enjoyed myself and I’m so glad I stuck in and finished everything. It was such a great experience and I am excited for the future.”

The judges of the 4th Student Pastry Chef of the Year competition were led by international pastry judge Franciane Tartari and included Benoit Blin of Le Manoir and Daniel Pearce of Rhubarb. They had much to deliberate to find a winner with the field exceptionally strong this year.

Franciane said: “From close to one hundred entries we slowly got down to the final eight and they all showed great promise in the final. What we asked was not easy but every single one of the finalists rose to the occasion. In the end Cecile was the clear winner and we all wish her the very best.”

In second place was Penelope Garside from York College and in third was Jazmin Williams from the NPTC Group in Wales.

Suzanne Barwick, hospitality tutor from York College said: “This was the first competition Penelope has ever entered and she came second. She is well chuffed and it’s great for the college. It’s the first time we’ve entered the Student Pastry Chef of the Year.”

Alongside the competition was a lively trade show event where competition sponsors introduced themselves to invited guests. A special lunch of Aussie Beef & Lamb on the BBQ and lobster and crab from Royal Greenland kept everyone happy. Students from West London College prepared and served the lunch alongside tutors.

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum and organiser of the competition said: “This was the 4th student pastry chef competition and it was the best so far. The turnout was terrific and the quality of chefs competing for the prize was incredible. As part of the prize Cecille will be going to France, During this exclusive excursion, the winner will have the privilege of exploring Andros Chef’s experimental orchard, state-of-the-art factory, and the exquisite pastry training area known as “L’Atelier du fruit et du vegetal” and also won a Heinzelmann Chef-X from S.O.S Catering”

The finalists

  • Cecille Youngs – West Suffolk College
  • Tay Simpson Rogers – Coleg Y Cymoedd
  • Jazmin Williams – NPTC Group
  • Khushboo Phore – London South Bank University
  • Matthew Oldknow – Leicester College
  • Penelope Garside – York College
  • Serah Morgan-Page – NPTC Group
  • Tiana Brough – Leicester College

The judges

  • Franciane Tartari (Head judge) – Executive Pastry Chef at 1 Hotel Mayfair
  • Michael Kwan – Executive Pastry Chef at The Dorchester and UK Pastry Team
  • Biju Joshwa – Executive Pastry Chef at Sheraton Grand Park Lane
  • Mauro Di Lieto – Executive Pastry Chef at The Landmark London & Bake Off: The Professionals Winner 2023
  • Martin Chiffers – International Pastry Consultant
  • Daniel Pearse – Executive Pastry Chef at Rhubarb
  • Michael D’Angelo – Executive Pastry Chef at The Roof Gardens
  • Bobby Singer – Executive Pastry Chef at Duck & Waffle and SushiSamba
  • Nelson Sa – Executive Pastry Chef at Brown’s Hotel
  • Thibault Hauchard – Executive Pastry Chef at Claridge’s
  • Cherish Finden – International Pastry Consultant /Bake Off: The Professionals Judge
  • Benoit Blin – Executive Pastry Chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons/Bake Off: The Professionals Judge
  • Ross Sneddon – Executive Pastry Chef at The Balmoral, Edinburgh
  • Mohan Boddula – Group Executive Pastry Chef at Sexy Fish

Thank you to all our sponsors: Wedgwood, S.O.S Catering, Heinzelmann Chef-X, Bragard, Sosa, Valrhona, First Choice Produce, Matfer Bourgeat, Andros Chef, MCS Technical Products, Foster Gamko, Unox, Brown Brothers, BIG K, Aussie Beef & Lamb and Royal Greenland.

Chef of the Week: Prasad Desai, Head Chef at Alec’s Restaurant in Brentwood

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
One and half years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
From my mother, I learnt my skills from her in the beginning and later studied hotel and business management.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Being creative, meeting different people and most important taste various food and dishes.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Maldon salt, thyme and butter.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Thermomix and my spoon.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Small plates tapas style is popular in all cuisines.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Not being organised.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Winter, beautiful root veg is in season and gives creativity to chef to play around as well get ready for Christmas.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
White onion soup and fillet with mushroom ketchup.

How do you come up with new dishes?
See what’s in season and speak to the suppliers.

Who was your greatest influence?
My mum.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Gordon Ramsay, Jason Atherton and Kerth Gumbs.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Three Star by Gordon Ramsay.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Kerth Gumbs and Rafael Cagali.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Tendril.

www.alecsrestaurant.co.uk

Cecille Celebrates Student Pastry Win

Cecille Youngs of West Suffolk College has won the 2024 Student Pastry Chef of the Year held at West London College on Tuesday 14th May. Penelope Garside from York College came second with Jazmin Williams of the the NPTC Group in third.

The theme of this year’s event was grab n go with the students asked to present 12 identical mono portions of their chosen dessert plus 2 entremets.

Head judge Franciane Tartari explained that grab n go is an important part of pastry kitchens these days and it was important for students to work with the concept. For the final Chefs’ Forum designer Lee Yarlett created a special box for the students to display their entries.

Cecille’s winning entry was: Coconut, passion fruit, mango, white chocolate & lime entremets and a rhubarb and pistachio mono dessert.

Cecille told The Chefs’ Forum: “I was so nervous at the beginning I thought I wasn’t to make it but the judges were all so helpful and encouraging and by the end I really enjoyed myself and I’m so glad I stuck in and finished everything. It was such a great experience and I am excited for the future.”

The judges of the 4th Student Pastry Chef of the Year competition were led by international pastry judge Franciane Tartari and included Benoit Blin of Le Manoir and Daniel Pearce of Rhubarb. They had much to deliberate to find a winner with the field exceptionally strong this year.

Franciane said: “From close to one hundred entries we slowly got down to the final eight and they all showed great promise in the final. What we asked was not easy but every single one of the finalists rose to the occasion. In the end Cecile was the clear winner and we all wish her the very best.”

In second place was Penelope Garside from York College and in third was Jazmin Williams from the NPTC Group in Wales.

Suzanne Barwick, hospitality tutor from York College said: “This was the first competition Penelope has ever entered and she came second. She is well chuffed and it’s great for the college. It’s the first time we’ve entered the Student Pastry Chef of the Year.”

Alongside the competition was a lively trade show event where competition sponsors introduced themselves to invited guests. A special lunch of Aussie Beef & Lamb on the BBQ and lobster and crab from Royal Greenland kept everyone happy. Students from West London College prepared and served the lunch alongside tutors.

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum and organiser of the competition said: “This was the 4th student pastry chef competition and it was the best so far. The turnout was terrific and the quality of chefs competing for the prize was incredible. As part of the prize Cecille will be going to France, During this exclusive excursion, the winner will have the privilege of exploring Andros Chef’s experimental orchard, state-of-the-art factory, and the exquisite pastry training area known as “L’Atelier du fruit et du vegetal” and also won a Heinzelmann Chef-X from S.O.S Catering”

The finalists

  • Cecille Youngs – West Suffolk College
  • Tay Simpson Rogers – Coleg Y Cymoedd
  • Jazmin Williams – NPTC Group
  • Khushboo Phore – London South Bank University
  • Matthew Oldknow – Leicester College
  • Penelope Garside – York College
  • Serah Morgan-Page – NPTC Group
  • Tiana Brough – Leicester College

The judges

  • Franciane Tartari (Head judge) – Executive Pastry Chef at 1 Hotel Mayfair
  • Michael Kwan – Executive Pastry Chef at The Dorchester and UK Pastry Team
  • Biju Joshwa – Executive Pastry Chef at Sheraton Grand Park Lane
  • Mauro Di Lieto – Executive Pastry Chef at The Landmark London & Bake Off: The Professionals Winner 2023
  • Enrico Carloni – Head Pastry Chef at The Peninsula
  • Daniel Pearse – Executive Pastry Chef at Rhubarb
  • Michael D’Angelo – Executive Pastry Chef at The Roof Gardens
  • Bobby Singer – Executive Pastry Chef at Duck & Waffle and SushiSamba
  • Nelson Sa – Executive Pastry Chef at Brown’s Hotel
  • Thibault Hauchard – Executive Pastry Chef at Claridge’s
  • Cherish Finden – International Pastry Consultant /Bake Off: The Professionals Judge
  • Benoit Blin – Executive Pastry Chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons/Bake Off: The Professionals Judge
  • Ross Sneddon – Executive Pastry Chef at The Balmoral, Edinburgh
  • Mohan Boddula – Group Executive Pastry Chef at Sexy Fish

Thank you to all our sponsors: Wedgwood, S.O.S Catering, Heinzelmann Chef-X, Bragard, Sosa, Valrhona, First Choice Produce, Matfer Bourgeat, Andros Chef, MCS Technical Products, Foster Gamko, Unox, Brown Brothers, BIG K, Aussie Beef & Lamb and Royal Greenland.

Aussie Beef Shines Again at West London College

10 top London chefs put on a wonderful display of creativity using Aussie Beef on 8th May at West London College. Following a special Aussie-style butchery demonstration the chefs were invited to create a casual dining main course featuring a specific cut of Aussie beef.

The variety of dishes was global with influences coming from far and wide. Cuts offered to the chefs included sirloin, picanha, ribeye and featherblade. From traditional roast sirloin to Vietnamese beef rice paper wraps it was clear that Aussie beef has enough robust flavour to go in any direction and that’s certainly what the chefs achieved.

Here’s what they prepared…

Dan Bowden, Freelance Chef – Angus ribeye – Land and Sea

Lucy Bowden, Freelance Chef – Roasted Sirloin, with Parmentier Potatoes, Tenderstem broccoli and red wine jus

Ross Pike, Chef Director, Oakman Inns – Featherblade Vietnamese beef rice paper wraps

Valentina Maschio, Head Chef, Gordon Ramsay Burger at Harrods – Angus sirloin, Hasselback Potato, Smoked Hollandaise, farro, green asparagus

Eduardo Barsotti, Chef Patron Omino – Picanha com salsa verde

Marcillo Da Silva, Founder 2 Dots/ Arches Wine Bar – Grilled Picanha, Burnt Onion, Charred Asparagus and Chimichurri

Keiko Urakawa, Head Chef, Cafe Bar Necco – Angus ribeye – Beef tataki sushi three ways

David Oliver, Head Chef, Bonds Mayfair – Angis sirloin All Things Black Pepper

Edison Anrango, Head Chef, The Rocket, Canary Wharf – Ribeye surf and turf with café de París butter, triple cooked beef potato chips, roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine and water cress

Cidalia Andrade, Head Chef, The White Haus, Farringdon – Picanha with rice, feijao preto with bacon and chorizo, chimichurri fried plantain, orange cabbage and farofa

Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist England 2024

London April 2024: Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist England took place at the iconic Ascot Racecourse, on none other than St. George’s Day, April 23rd, 2024, celebrating the rich heritage and culture of Britain. Four Chefs, four Waiters, and four Mixologists from across England all came together to compete for the 2024 YYY England champion title.

This year, judges and finalists met on 22nd April for a “Educational Day” at the Ascot Racecourse, aligning with YYY’s core values. Rooted in inspiring and retaining talent in the hospitality industry, the day’s agenda was imbued with a commitment to sustainability and the promotion of local English produce. Here, the finalists were grouped into their trios for the competition day, briefed on their tasks, and treated to a masterclass from Adam Handling MBE, Laura and Ryon Head from Champagne PIAFF, and Paul Robinson CCO of NEFT Vodka along with William Campbell-Rowntree, Head Bartender for Raffles Hotel, in the Parade Ring Restaurant at Ascot Racecourse. Later in the evening, everyone gathered at the elegant Coworth Park’s Oval Room Restaurant for a delightful welcome dinner.

The main event took place on April 23rd at the Ascot Racecourse’s On 5 restaurant, where finalists showcased their skills and talents. During the England finals, a panel of esteemed Judges selected one chef, one waiter, and one mixologist, crowning them as the YYY England Champions 2024 during the Awards Ceremony. The ceremony, was graced by the presence of Louise O’Flynn and Kate Taylor Tett from the GREAT Campaign, as well as Jackie Marlow from UKHospitality. We also express our deepest appreciation to Ascot, NEFT, and Sodexo Live! for their invaluable support, which has added a touch of glamour and sophistication to the YYY England Finals.

The winners from YYY England will head to Singapore from November 15th to 17th for the World Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist World Finals, where they will proudly represent England. They will compete against regional winners from 11 other countries. World Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist will be announcing exciting news at the end of the year. We have witnessed numerous milestones, and by the year’s end, we will unveil thrilling new prospects.

The Chef Judges are:

  • Head Chef Judge, Adam Handling MBE, Chef Owner of Adam Handling Restaurant Group
  • Mario Perera, Executive Chef at The Dorchester
  • Michael Kwan, Executive Pastry Chef at The Dorchester
  • Roy Ner, Executive Chef at Jeru
  • Ben Duston, Food Innovation Director for Sodexo Live!

The Waiter Judges are:

  • Head Waiter Judge – Simon King, Operations Director of The Wolseley Hospitality Group
  • Johanna Wimmer, L&D Consultant
  • George Hersey, Restaurant Director at Adam Handling Restaurant Group
  • Jonathan Parker, Managing Director of 1711 by Ascot.
  • Rob Edwards, YYY CFO and Co-founder of wine&earth

The Mixologist Judges are:

  • Eleonora Biason, Deputy Restaurant Manager at AVC Kitchens at The Emory
  • William Campbell-Rowntree, Head Bartender for Raffles Hotel
  • Paul Robinson, CCO NEFT Vodka
  • Laura Head, Business Development Director at Champagne PIAFF

The Young Chef finalists are:

  • Sebastian Brooks, The Dorchester
  • Megan Drayson, Bowley’s at the plough
  • Joel Light, Frog by Adam Handling
  • Rojay Sargeant, The Cove Club

The Young Waiter Finalists are:

  • Joel Knotman, Woven by Adam Smith
  • James Bott, Ugly Butterfly by Adam Handling
  • Lisa Dransfield – The Samling Hotel
  • Nicoleta Munteanu, Frog by Adam Handling

The Young Mixologist Finalists are:

  • Alicia Burd, Soho Farmhouse
  • Jonathan Steers, Beaufort Bar at The Savoy
  • Drew Fleming, Kiki Lounge
  • Khris McLaren, Ugly Butterfly by Adam Handling

Young Chef Young Waiter was established in 1979 and historically operated in England for 42 years. Over the past years, the competition has expanded around the world and is now in its 45th year. Young Mixologist England, organised by YYY and elevated by NEFT Vodka, returns for its second year, further enriching the competition landscape and providing young mixologists with a platform to showcase their craft alongside chefs and waiters. WorldYYY proudly supports the three aspects of the restaurant industry. This aims to acknowledge outstanding talent and excellence, not only in the kitchen and front-of-house service but also behind the bar.

Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist England was  proudly supported by NEFT Vodka, Great Campaign, Champagne PIAFF, Culinary Institute of America, Ascot, The Caterer, Wine&Earth, Really Social, Coworth park, Sodexo Live!, Thermomix and Travis Mathew.

Quotations:

Robert Walton MBE, YYY Chairman said: “Many thanks to Ascot Racecourse for hosting the 2024 YYY England Competition. It was great to see all the finalists come together this year and compete for the championship title. I would also like to express my gratitude for all our judges and sponsors, who have been committed to supporting this competition. I am extremely grateful to witness the development of our competition, nurturing, and showcasing the passion, skills, and dedication of the next generation of hospitality professionals.”

Paul Robinson, Chief Creative Officer NEFT Vodka: “I’m constantly inspired by the dedication and creativity that the Young Mixologists are bringing to the table in this competition. If the 2024 kick off, YYY England, is any indication of the way the year will go, then we are in for some spectacular events.

YYY England was such an impressive display of teamwork and talent. Watching this competition grow and progress at the speed in which it is, makes me very proud to be a part of it.”

 Adam Handling MBE of Adam Handling Restaurant Group said: “YYY is such an important competition. This competition encourages the next generation of enthusiastic young talent in hospitality roles and pushes them to be the best that they can be. The restaurant world is changing and YYY is here to help them evolve and adapt, nurturing the exciting and fresh talent they already bring.”

Roy Ner, Executive Chef at Jeru said: “The Young Chef Young Waiter competition is incredibly important to me, as I spent most of my life growing up and being immersed in the hospitality industry and our global family. It’s an honour to serve as a judge for this world-class competition and watch the new generation of talent really push the boundaries and showcase their skills.  It makes me very proud to be a part of it and I wish each and every contestant the best of luck.

Ben Dutson, Food Innovation Director at Sodexo Live! UK and Ireland said: “I was delighted to join the chef judging panel and it was great to see the talent that came through the competition this year.

Innovation is at our core at Sodexo Live! so it was incredible to see the ideas and creations that came out of the competition.

All the competitors had an action-packed few day, and to be in the world-famous setting of Ascot Racecourse will be a real highlight for them all at such an early stage of their careers.”

 Simon King, Operations director The Wolseley Group said: ‘The 2024 YYY England final was another great competition where the standards across the board were very high, we definitely felt the presence of the television camera added a little more pressure on the competitors. It was great to see them rise to the challenge and work as a team to overcome any speedbumps just as they would in their workplace. This competition is so important to the hospitality industry, it’s essential to educate, motivate, mentor and showcase the next generation of talent. I know as a previous winner of this competition how much of a positive impact he had on my career and now to be able to give back means a great deal to me.’

William Campbell-Rowntree, Head Bartender for Raffles Hotel said: “Overall, the completion and experience was incredible. The competition recreated the tough reality and conditions of working in restaurant, bar or even event. I think the standard was very good and all the competitors did fantastic and was great to see such young talent coming through.”

Johanna Wimmer, L&D Consultant said: “This competition is close to my heart as it helps to nurture and develop future generations of our amazing industry and from a personal note having won it a few (quite a few) years ago, I know how it can inspire a career.

It gives the candidates the opportunity to showcase their passion, skills and knowledge; it also creates an environment to learn and network with their peers.

This year, the competitors demonstrated an exceptionally high standard, providing inspiration as they competed and supported each other. Beyond their individual categories, waiters, chefs, and mixologists worked closely as a cohesive team to create flawless dining experiences. Effective communication and teamwork emerged as a key component of this year’s competition. I can’t wait to see how the champions, representing England, will do in the World finals.”

About YYY      

Since its establishment in 1979, the Young Chef Young Waiter competition has continued to promote hospitality as a career of choice, a profession, and a vocation. Today, with its new revitalised format Young Chef Young Waiter continues to honour the next culinary and service stars globally. World Young Chef Young Waiter, in partnership with Great Campaign UK and Northern Ireland and the Culinary Institute of America, mission to discover the best young talents in the industry. The competition is open to Young Chefs and waiters under the age of 28 from diverse backgrounds and YYY ensures these young talents are equipped with relevant skills, current knowledge, and a network to help them succeed in the world of hospitality.

In 2022, the competition marked a significant milestone by expanding its reach to a global audience, with participants from seven countries striving for the title of World Young Chef Young Waiter Champion. Building on this success, the competition returned in 2023, reaffirming its commitment to supporting the global hospitality industry and providing an expansive stage for the cultivation of creativity, education, and innovation that knows no geographical bounds, the event promises to surpass all previous iterations in size, quality, and sustainability.

 

Chef of the Week: Roy Ner, Chef Patron at Jeru in London

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have been working at Jeru in Mayfair since the opening in 2021.  Prior to this I had spent the past 18 years in Australia.  So I am relatively new to the UK scene.

Where did your passion for cooking come from, and where did you learn your skills?
The beauty of hospitality lies in bringing people together for a shared experience of good food, wine, and company. It’s a simple yet powerful way to forge lasting memories and moments. Growing up with a North African food heritage, I learned the value of coming together with family over a spread of delicious food. It has inspired me to cherish the tradition of gathering, sharing meals and creating memories with loved ones.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
It’s amazing how food can be used as a powerful tool for communication – watching people understand and enjoy it is truly inspiring.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Salt, good extra virgin olive oil and garlic.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My Japanese knife and a charcoal pit.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
The true understanding of low and slow cooking.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Been too technical about specific dishes, forget the guest experience on the table and most importantly the art a composed menu as a whole.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
In summer, when the flavours become light and punchy.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Our deep understanding of the bread and Koji fermentation that led to our legendary potato bread.

How do you come up with new dishes?
Inspiration is a muscle or an instinct that takes years to develop. Once you understand your identity, everything can spark a new idea.

Who was your greatest influence?
I had a lot of professional chefs for whom I worked, and they guided me through my career. But the greatest influence of my heritage is the fact that food is enjoyed in a family environment and in abundance.

Tell us three chefs you admire.

  • Marco Pierre White
  • Francis Mallmann
  • Anthony Bourdain

What is your favourite cookbook?
Larousse Gastronomique.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
There are so many fantastic rising chefs, it would be hard for me to say.  But I do get some inspiration from the Young Chef Young Waiter competition that I am currently judging.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Nela, Amsterdam. Ex executive chef of Nobu is doing his interpretation of charcoal cooking.

www.jeru.co.uk

MCS Technical Products Development Chef David Jenkins Loses Cancer Battle

The Chefs’ Forum are incredibly sad to inform you of the passing of David (Dave) Jenkins the much-loved development chef of MCS Technical Products. He will be greatly missed by all his colleagues at MCS and friends in the industry. David suffered from an aggressive form of lung cancer and after a short illness he passed away on the 7th May aged 62.

Steve Snow, Managing Director of MCS Technical Products said:

“David followed his father (a renowned Welsh Chef), into the hospitality industry in his teens qualifying as a chef and so working all his adult life in various cheffing roles before becoming a demonstration chef for manufacturers brands. He worked for leading manufacturers within the hospitality sector, including working as a demonstration chef for the Blodgett Oven Group in America.

“David joined MCS on the 2nd January 2014 and quickly earned the respect of colleagues and customers with his talents and expertise. We will miss him and his knowledge.”

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum said: “Dave Jenkins worked with us from the early days showcasing CookTek induction technology to chefs across the country. We have always loved working with him and he will be sorely missed at Chefs’ Forum events.”

Chefs’ Forum Favourite Daren Liew Opens Nanyang Blossom in Trendy Knightsbridge

The Chefs’ Forum were treated to a pre-opening taste of new restaurant Nanyang Blossom recently.

Opened by Daren Liew, one of the chefs highlighted in The Chefs’ Knowledge, the new kid on the block is a marriage of Singapore and Malaysia and the menu is inspired by Peranakan Chinese cuisine.

Daren said: “We chose Knightsbridge because of its tourist appeal. It’s right by Harrods and close to the Mandarin Oriental who I worked for in both Singapore and Malaysia so this project is close to my heart as I come from Penang.”

Also having a sneak preview of Daren’s menu was Executive Chef Tong Chee Hwee and Restaurant Director Alan Tang of Gouqi, which is gaining plaudits as one of the hot new openings of the summer.

Chef Tong Chee Hwee was formerly the Group Executive Chef at Hakkasan.

Nanyang Blossom cocktails are amazing, we sampled two of the signature pours:

Nyonya £15
Equiano rum, tequila, cucumber, chilli

Nanyang Blossom £18
Tito’s vodka, lychee juice, Champagne

Business Lunch Menu – £38 per person

To Begin

Soft-shell crab, grilled chicken sate “Melaka” and green basil cup

To Follow

Hainanese prawn and Josper grilled Baba chicken

 

Served with egg fried Jasmine rice with spring onions – We relished the opportunity to get some inside information from Chef Liew about soy sauce going around the edge of the wok, as opposed to in the centre – A great tip!

To finish

Nanyang Kopi crème brulee made with Nanyang coffee – A unique coffee for the Kopi highlands

Crispy banana Valrhona chocolate lava – Frozen custard with a lava texture

We will return very soon to try Daren’s Knightsbridge crispy beef ribs – A signature dish designed just for Nanyang Blossom!

Congratulations to Daren and team on a wonderful new restaurant and we can’t wait to hold an event there soon.

Photography by Carlos Farinha.

International Restaurateurs Dinner Raises £22,000 for Hospitality Industry Charities

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, World Young Chef Young Waiter and The Wine Guild UK put on a standout dinner to raise valuable funds for hospitality training on the 29th April at The Rosewood Hotel in London.

The evening was a showcase of chef and front of house talent with chefs Jose Pizarro, Ian Musgrave, Hrishikesh Desai and Cherish Finden putting on the four course dinner.

The evening raised £22,000 for charity and was an industry showcase of talent in the kitchen and front of house. The guests were treated to an update on World Young Chef Young Waiter by head judge Adam Handling who explained the competition is going from strength to strength with the addition of young mixologist being added.

Young Chef Young Waiter commented on the evening: “With the wonderful generosity and support from all our friends in the industry, we have raised well in excess of £1.5million over the years.

“These vital funds have been invested in education and training initiatives developed by the partner organisations. The dinner, however, is not just a fundraising event, it is also an opportunity for people with common interests to meet and enjoy a wonderful evening of fun and entertainment.”

Exose Grant Cooks up a Storm to Celebrate Bradford College’s £32m Redevelopment

The Grove Restaurant at Bradford College hosted a special dinner with over 40 invited VIP’s to celebrate Bradford College’s Garden Mills refurbishment project. The evening was a feather in the cap for the college restaurant and our own Exose Grant was on hand to supply the menu.

The event showed guests the exciting plans in place set to transform Bradford College.

In attendance was Lorraine O’Donnell (CEO of Bradford Council) and Naz Shah (Bradford West MP) as well as representatives from Couch Perry Wilkes, Bond Bryan Architects and JCT600 among others.

College students were able to get vital experience on the night and work on a big event that would normally go to a hotel or large restaurant facility.

Exose, a former MasterChef: The Professionals finalist, explained: “The Grove Restaurant was the perfect venue to celebrate the special evening and the students really upped their game. Together we produced an outstanding evening of food to really put Bradford College on the map. It was great to have such important local dignitaries in the restaurant and the students got vital experience.”

Here’s what they made on the night:

Wye Valley Asparagus, Slow Cooked Egg, Toasted Sourdough, Crispy Parma Ham, Onion & Thyme Puree, Beer Pickled Onions and Beer Pickle Gel

Chive and Tandoori Spiced Lamb Rump, Sweet Potato Fondant, Sweet Potato Puree, Spinach Yoghurt, Sauteed Spinach, Lamb Sauce, Garlic & Coriander Flatbread and Mint Yoghurt

Vanilla Cheesecake, Strawberry Compote, Basil Syrup and Crumble

The dinner was followed by a question-and-answer session with Exose and service throughout the evening was provided by Level 2 Catering and Hospitality students.

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