Young chefs win through to final

YOUNG chefs from Suffolk New College are celebrating today after winning a place in the final of a national cooking competition.The catering students will take on nine other teams in the Brakes Student Team Chef Challenge 2008.

YOUNG chefs from Suffolk New College are celebrating today after winning a place in the final of a national cooking competition.

The catering students will take on nine other teams in the Brakes Student Team Chef Challenge 2008.

Sophie Knappet, James Wilding and Kate Allen got through to the final, to be held at London's ExCel on 20 February, after coming second in a fiercely contested regional final at Birmingham College.

Each team had to produce a three-course meal, which was judged on taste, presentation, teamwork, seasoning, culinary skills, working methods and its overall balance.

The three Suffolk New College students cooked roast garlic and Parmesan panacotta, with anchovy dressing and cheese sable, followed by a fillet of wild Suffolk venison, Jerusalem artichoke puree and morel sauce.

For dessert they prepared milk chocolate and banana mousse with amaretto ice cream and caramelized banana.

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Greg Cheeseman, lecturer at Suffolk New College, said: “Getting to the final is a great achievement for the team.

“The team did a fantastic job to get through their heat and all the hard work and preparation has come to fruition, though it doesn't stop there - now we're working hard to ensure we are as ready as we can be for the final.”

Simon Henrick of Brakes said: “Over the years we have found the quality just gets better and better each year.

“All the colleges at the heats produced great dishes, but as with any competition not everybody can win. The final should be very exciting.”

Winning team members at the regional heats received Brakes catering equipment vouchers worth £75 each whilst the second and third placed teams received vouchers worth £50 and £25 each respectively.

The winners will get a knife set worth in excess of £500 for each team member and a weeklong placement organised by the Welsh Culinary Association.

The challenge final will be held as part of the Salon Culinaire, a chefs' competition at the Hotelympia, which is taking place between February 17 and 21 at Excel.