Eurest and 14Forty, both part of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s B&I division, had five teams compete against each other to scoop the title of B&I Chef of the Year 2019. Head Chef, Phil Jones and Chef, David Millman from a Eurest site at a prestigious automotive company, were crowned winners after presenting two courses of outstanding plates of food.
Now in its second year, the competition had double the amount of entries compete in the regional heats to take one of the five places in the final, which was held at the Compass Group head office in Chertsey. Each team had 90 minutes to cook two courses and impress the judges with their presentation, taste profiles and dish complexity.
It was a tough decision for the judges – made up of Compass Group UK and Irelands’ Nick Vadis, Culinary Director; Morag Freathy, MD, B&I; Ryan Holmes, Culinary Director, B&I; Russell Butcher, Development Chef, Workplace and Laraine Kemp, People Director, Operations – who had to pick the winning team. Along with a certificate and trophy, Phil and David will get to experience the wonderful Nordic delights Sweden has to offer on a Gothenburg food and spice tour – courtesy of competition sponsor, supplier and taste and flavour experts, Santa Maria.
Deserved winners Phil Jones and David Millman wowed the judges with a starter of Thai Haddock and Brown Shrimp Bon-Bon with Sriracha Slaw and Salted Cucumber, and a main of Soy Glazed Crown Roast Duck Breast with Apple, Swede and Confit Duck Spring Roll served with Wilted Bok Choi and an Apple and Soy Reduction. They said of the win: “We’re over the moon, it’s been hard work getting to the final, but everything came together and we showed just what we could do when it really mattered. It’s all about cooking with a passion and being able to adapt a recipe to your surroundings! Our sights are set on Compass Chef of the Year finals in 2020 now.”
Morag Freathy, MD, Business & Industry at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “This is a fantastic platform to showcase that we’re culinary experts and that we are brilliant at what we do. We’ve seen some great skill, innovation, grit and determination on display, it’s been a real celebration of the talent we have. The standard this year has stepped up a gear which is testament to all our chefs across the B&I division at Compass Group UK & Ireland.
“It’s great to see all levels of chefs competing in our teams, from sous chefs to apprentice chefs, all working together to create such amazing plates of food. A big well done to everyone who competed, not only today in the final, but in the heats as well – it’s a big achievement for everyone who puts themselves up to compete.”