New: Barista of the year
Interview with Levi Roots The Pasta Heats
The Omelette Challenge
The Sodexo Young Chef of the Year The Ambassador Matt Dawson
The Grand Prix Competition Static and Live Competitions and Much More... The complete guide to the days events
Matt Dawson: Ambassador
05 Barista of the Year 06 Butchery Demo 08 Pasta Heats 10 Grand Prix 12
The Hoxton Apprentice
13 Junior Apprentice 14 Fish Challenge 16 Young Chef of the Year 18
Interview with Levi Root
Bakery Ideas for Christmas
Great ways with Flora
Pick of the Day
Blue Dragon Challenge
Sponsors and Judges
Film Crew Ben Thomas Jamie Kemp Phil Spiering Tom Rogers Zoe Beresford
Podcasters Marcus Armitage
Photographers Rebecca SharplinHughes Caroline Craske Maizey Roberts
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Magazine Crew Steph Orr Jessica Pook Francesca Wright Louise Tansley Kristine Waite Rachel Kennedy Yasmine Najib
Magazine Design/Layout Charlotte Collins Kathryn Barwick Emily Black
David Mulcahy Craft and food development director, Sodexo
I am delighted to welcome you to this new and exciting magazine which captures the very best of Sodexo Salon Culinaire 2012. The annual salon programme which encompasses our events at Ascot and in Ireland and Scotland has grown enormously and with over 1,000 competitors and visitors is one of the most significant culinary activities within the industry today embracing our culinary heritage and recognising talent. Each year we introduce changes and additions to the event adding to the competitor and guest experience on the day. This year was no different, additional live kitchens were added, competition classes were updated and an exciting Street food concept ensured that all guests on the day were well catered for. This yearâ€™s highlights in the live competition theatre included The Sodexo Young Chef of the Year, The Grand Prix and of course The Great Omelette Challenge. Stunning cold displays included decorated cakes, chocolate and sugar exhibits, the ever popular bakery classes and some of the best themed table settings seen at the salon to date. A particularly exciting competition was the Sodexo Barista Challenge grand final and competitors proved worthy finalists for the very first event. Look out for even more Barista competition heats next year. Of course we are indebted to our suppliers and sponsors who contribute generously to the success of the event each year. Our expert judges on the day do a tremendous job, offering time and expertise to ensure all competition entries are judged fairly. The popular masterclass programme included celebrity chefs Cyrus Todiwala and Levi Roots with Matt Dawson and Sodexo CEO Debbie White on stage to hand out awards and congratulate competitors. Plans are now in place for next years Salon Culinaire which promises to be even more exciting. In the meantime, look out for training courses and attend development days and I look forward to seeing you in 2013. Particular thanks to excellent team at Solent Creatives, SSU who have produced this magazine.
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine â€˘ 3
MATT DAWSON We were delighted that Matt was able to join us in this year’s Salon and celebrate all the brilliant work and effort that our staff have put in, both in their daily jobs and within their competitions of the day.
passionately about his love for food and healthy eating and why this encouraged him to team up with Sodexo: “I got involved three years ago by meeting some of the executives and having some ideas
a brilliant time integrating with all the staff
being one half of the television cookery
on the health and well being of the general
and visitors, although we fear he may have
series ‘Mitch and Matt’, it seems our Great
population and the Sodexo staff. Sodexo
had enough of the photographs by the time
Omelette Challenge was just a bit too
work very hard on enabling all their staff ,
we were all done with him.
much for the lovely Matt. Looking a little
clients, and customers to be able to eat well;
On being questioned about his future
emotional when we spoke to him, he says:
when I say eat well I mean healthily and full
endeavours with Sodexo, it was obvious that
“I was obviously very disappointed about
of nutrition. But it maybe needed a little bit
Matt was really hands on with his approach to
that (The Great Omelette Challenge)
more of a somebody of notoriety to front it,
the customers and clients of the company, and
I’ve mentally scarred myself, one of the
and because of my sports background and
really getting out there and involved.
board members Michelle, our commercial
my love of food and understanding of food
“I was health and wellness ambassador,
director beat me quite convincingly as
as a cook – not a chef I hasten to add they
subsequent to that I have moved into the
well which unfortunately I will not hear
thought that it would be a good little match.”
management side of things with the team,
the end of… and now I’ll be able to read
Matt has been helping us to raise awareness
going out there and meeting as many of
about it as well!”
of health and well being issues, as well as
the staff and seeing all the sites and clients
Ever the joker, but despite this brutal
lending his support to a number of our other
and customers and so integrating all what
defeat, he was a brilliant sport and was ex-
initiatives, namely this event. With his keen
Sodexo is about, making sure it is getting out
cellent fun to have around. Here’s to next
interest in culinary development and being
to our staff and our customers and clients.”
year’s Salon – get practising your Omelette
donned a bit of a ‘foodie’ he was really getting
Despite his conquering of Celebrity Master
stuck in to the events of the day and having
chef, publishing his own cookbook, and
skills Matt, there’s definitely a re match on the horizon.
words by Louise Tansley 4 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
BARISTA CHALLENGE New to this year’s Salon Culinaire was the Barista Challenge giving ten applicants the opportunity to battle it out and see who could win the title of the first ever National Barista of the Year, as well as bagging themselves a top of the range Barista machine.
he competition tested the baristas not only on their ability to make different cups of coffee and present these to a high standard, but also judged their customer service skills.
Finalists took part in three different sections to show off their skills – the first of which was to serve Salon attendees for approximately 30 minutes, the toasted marshmallow latte being a renowned favourite! The second task was entitled the Triangular Cupping Competition which consisted of identifying the odd coffee in a batch of three for five blends of coffee. And lastly, but most certainly not least was the creating and presenting of three drinks; an espresso, a cappuccino, and a signature drink of the entrants choice to WBC rules. The winner, Annabelle Farago, who works for Sodexo’s Corporate Services IFM division, said that the secret to good coffee making is: “To enjoy your job and to smile.” It seems that Annabelle’s bubbly personality and friendly approach to her customers made her a sure fire winner – of course her delicious coffee creations sealed the deal. Business development manager, vending and hot beverages, Sodexo UK and Ireland, and organiser of the new competition, Kim Reeves, said: “We are delighted that Annabelle has won the first National Barista Challenge. The competition was very close and everyone performed exceedingly well.” It is brilliant that coffee is becoming such an integral part of the company; it is more than just our focus on food. Of course food is fundamental, but we are ever expanding in our vast range of service and expertise, and this competition has really given competitors the opportunity to show what they can do outside of the kitchen.
words by Louise Tansley
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 5
6 â€˘ Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
Venison is one of the most lean, versatile and nutritious meats available on the UK market today. With popular cuts ranging from shank to shoulder, and the ability to yield 15-20 steaks from the haunch of one deer alone, not only is venison incredibly flavoursome but the animal feeds many.
his year at the 2012 Salon Culinaire, Master Butcher Maxie
Next he moved onto the legs. Great to roast as a whole, or the top
Malcolm was welcomed to present a master class in game
section can be roasted individually. Left on the bone it should be slow
with the focus on venison. How to handle the animal,
roasted like many of the cuts to ensure tenderness. The top of the leg
where to find the meat and what to use it for, were all covered in the demonstration. Currently working at Rare Butchers in Mayfair, Maxie began his
can also be sold as a shank, an area extremely good value to money. The shoulder is a large cut and can be slow roasted either on the bone or can be deboned and the flesh rolled and tied in string to roast.
career working beneath his father
The haunch is the deer’s bottom and
in the local shop. A job he said he
is the most tender part on the animal.
fell into, after four long years of
It is versatile and can be roasted with
working as an apprentice he now
or without bone, quickly or slowly
has over 20 years of experience
and makes great steak portions. When
behind him but remains eager to
cooking steak, Maxie said get your pan
learn and improve.
as hot as possible, add oil and flash fry
As venison is a type of meat
to your preferred degree of rarity.
not widely used, often people
Finally Maxie unveiled the strip loin,
feel weary on how to handle the
the lengths of flesh running down
animal. Venison is a young deer
either side of the animal’s spine. This
often bred wildly and caught at
is the most expensive cut and is sought
three years or younger. Their organic lifestyle ensures their meat has
after by top chefs. It is best roasted whole and is great for making a
a strong taste that could rival beef or lamb. Despite its youthfulness,
wellington, this also working well as steak.
the animal has a lot of meat to offer and wide a variety of cuts making its iron-rich flesh fantastic for cooking. Maxie began the first demonstration of the day by carefully
Finally to really make the most of the animal, any left over pieces from the neck area and under the ribs can be trimmed of fat, diced and used for slow cooking dishes like casserole.
sectioning the different parts of the body explaining in steps what
Before any of the cuts are cooked, silver skin (a thin white layer
he was doing. He started the process by removing the four legs being
covering the muscle) needs to be removed. Our master butcher did
cautious to follow the natural lines of the body to ensure as large a
this easily by using a small knife to slide the layer away but said most
yield as possible. After this he removed the belly and finally worked
butchers will do this for you.
on the loin and haunch.
When it comes to buying, the more cuts available the lower the
Once the long process of separating cuts and bones was complete
price of the meat, and thanks to the recession venison is now at its
with all edible flesh removed, he talked through each cut explaining
lowest price in years. With this step by step guide from our Master
how it can be used.
Butcher and a price to rival beef… why not try your first game pie
First up was the belly. An unusual cut that is often ignored, this
long, flat piece is great for stuffing, rolling and roasting.
words by Kristine Waite
Sodexo Salon Culiniaire Magazine • 7
Pasta: The Final Round 8 â€˘ Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
After an intense round in the morning, only five competitors remained in the game for the second heat of the live pasta class. They had 30 minutes to prepare, cook and present two identical portions, using any dried pasta of their choice
s the second heat began Judge
in testament to his cooking skills, he still
Dan Arratoon told us what they
came away from the competition with a
were looking for: “Competitors
silver award in spite of a time penalty.
really need to consider their timing – a
lot of this morning’s dishes weren’t cooked
exceptional attention to detail, going
through; people think pasta cooks much
as far as placing his plates above the
quicker than it does,” he said. As ever,
oven to warm through, received the
the judges had high expectations for the
much deserved best in class. Using a
presentation; a sprinkling of ‘green fairy
medley of deliciously colourful and fresh
candy’ a top one dish didn’t cut it earlier that
ingredients he prepared Devonshire
morning, but as John Rutter began layering
white crab and spring cannelloni with
a circular spinach and ricotta lasagne into a
mango and avocado puree, balsamic glaze
tiny, delicious tower it didn’t look as though
and parmesan to finish. He attributed
they would be disappointed.
his success to his choice of ingredients
Two competitors took a daring step and
(as opposed to his experience as a head
prepared ravioli, leaving no alternative
chef, working for Sodexo multiple times
than to make the pasta themselves,
and opening restaurants in between)
(using dough made previously). This was
“As soon as you start over complicating
particularly risky - not least because it is
things and adding too many ingredients it
so time consuming, and Titus, (whose
doesn’t work anymore. I only used about
dish consisted of butternut squash and
seven things, but super fresh flavours like
chilli ravioli served on a bed of spinach
crème fraiche, lemon zest and herbs. The
and rocket) quickly fell behind. He was
puree was obviously quite sweet with the
still rolling sheets of pasta when Dan
mango, but combined together it works
Gee served up two generous portions
really well.” he said, and looking at it, we
of tagliatelle with pork and herbs. Judge
certainly wouldn’t say no to a serving.
Best in Class: Ellis Masters
Silver: Titus Chege
Merit: Antony McKeown
Dan Arratoon explained how difficult fresh pasta can be to prepare under strict
words by Rachel Kennedy
time constraints: “Even if he rolls it very thinly, where the joins are it’ll still be thick and undercooked if he keeps to the clock” he said. It was an intense heat, with Dan Gee having served and cleaned down his station before other competitors had their pasta boiling – the judges were certainly in for some seriously al dente dishes. The pace didn’t drop, with two more chefs serving up with only thirty seconds to spare, to huge audience applause. Unfortunately, as predicted by the judges, Titus Chege didn’t dish up in time, though
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 9
THE GRAND PRIX OF COOKERY The most highly anticipated live competition of the day
n the afternoon, one of the most highly anticipated live
loin of lamb and lamb’s liver sandwich; and more unusual offerings
competitions of the day took place in front of a packed out
such as Partridge Pithivier, and Torchon of rabbit and guinea fowl.
audience. The Sodexo Grand Prix-Dish of the Day (sponsored
We were surprised to see only one girl competing in the Dish
by Unilever Food Solutions and Churchill China) saw ten chefs
of the Day contest, although Omero was quick to praise winner,
battling it out for the sought after Gold Award. Competitors had 60
Chef de Partie Louisa May Matthews: “It is a shame there aren’t
minutes to prepare, cook and present two plated portions of a warm
more girls competing really, because I like to see the girls getting
or hot starter and two plated portions of a hot main course. Both the
involved. There really are some great female chefs in Sodexo you
starter and the main course were the competitors’ choice, with the
know! This girl here is working very cleanly. She’s a very organised
only requirement being that both dishes should be fully garnished.
young lady, if there was a prize just for that, she would definitely
Timing was a key factor in this cook off, with competitors losing crucial marks if the dishes were not completed within the allocated
win! Hopefully her tidiness will show in her presentation; this will show a tidy mind, and a clean mind means a clean plate.”
time. We asked Executive Development Chef and judge Omero
After a tense 60 minutes battling it out in front of the judges, the
Galuluci what qualities the judges were looking for in the dish
competition came to a swift close. The delicious winning menu
of the day: “Well innovation obviously, something that has been
looked a little bit like this: ‘Pan fried fillet of bass, open lasagne of
executed well, and of a very different style to what we’ve seen
crayfish and scallop, fennel and fish cream. for starter, followed by
before. Well cooked food, because that’s very important - they
a mouth watering best-end of lamb, gremolata-crusted lamb neck
need to treat it right! Also the way they work and look after their
with braised pulses, accompanied by little roasts potatoes, lamb jus
product, because some people can abuse products, if you know
and mint dressing.’
what I mean. They don’t know how to look after it, especially with fish and other delicate foods.”
We would like to wish a massive congratulations to Sodexo Grand Prix Dish of the Day winner Louisa May Matthews!
Some of the mouth watering dishes being rustled up in 60 minutes included: coconut pancakes with mango and chilli prawns; spiced
10 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
words by Yasmine Najib
“It is a shame there’s not more girls competing really; because I like to se e the girls getting involved, there really is some great female chefs in Sodexo you know!”
The Grand Prix Dish of the Day Winner: Louisa May Matthews
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine• 11
The Hoxton Apprentice Hoxton Apprentice is a social enterprise set up by the charity Training for Life. Co-founded by social entrepreneur Gordon D’Silva the restaurant had two purposes; to seek out unemployed people with a passion for working in the hospitality industry, and giving the public an affordable place to eat.
magazine about the charity and how to get involved.
What is Hoxton Apprentice? Hoxton Apprentice is a charity for the
unemployed to gain experience and confidence in the catering field. The founder Gordon D’Silver, had a vision for unemployed people to train while receiving a wage at the same time. We take unemployed apprentices for six months and put them in work placements. We start them off with an NVQ level 2 and they start either at the back of house or the front of house. We have had many people from a variety of backgrounds asking to work at Hoxton Apprentice. Few have qualifications, some have experienced homelessness or have drug and alcohol addictions. We want to help them turn their lives around by making a positive contribution to society. Can anyone join? Yes, all I am looking for is a good work ethic and a can do attitude. I make the decision whether I will give you a chance or not and it is more than likely that I will. When I am looking for candidates I look for passion, I ask: “Do they have it in their hearts to become a chef?” It doesn’t matter who and what they were or are, it’s what do they want to be. I once had an apprentice who was 50 years old, he came to me in an interview telling me “Chef, I’ve
‘Party Ingredients.’ They do many high end catering jobs, they recently catered for the Queens Jubilee. He has got that chance now, he’s now a hard working chef. For me everyone I work with are my family, they will all be at my leaving do in a few weeks. I was once one of them, I started with nothing and now I have something, I am a success in my own right. Success Rate? Many of our chefs who have been working with us have worked for many different companies including Sodexo. Some have worked with Gordon Ramsay and catered in the Emirates Stadium. Last year we did a dinner for the Queen in the Gherkin, it was an incredible experience. Hoxton is something I am very proud of, it is something positive where we turn someone’s life around, and I will continue to be an ambassador for the charity. How would someone get an interview for Hoxton Apprentice and the Training for life scheme? Our apprentices are recruited though local jobsites, employment agencies and word of mouth. Occasionally Training for Life takes part in employment trade shows such as Osmani Trust job fairs and the such. If you wish to get involved with Training for Life or any of the apprentice programmes mentioned please contact: http://www.trainingforlife.org http://www.hoxtonapprentice.com/
tried everything in life, I just want a chance.” I gave him a chance and now he is working for the private catering company in London 12 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
words by Francesca Wright
LEON SERAPHIN: HEAD CHEF AT THE HOXTON APPRENTICE Leon Seraphin, like many chefs, is a big fan of fish. Now head chef at the Hoxton Apprentice, he has worked at the Commonwealth Club as Chef de Partie, and at White’s Gentleman’s club in Mayfair as a Commis Chef. Conscious of sustainability Leon encourages his apprentices, co-workers and audiences to try and cook less popular fish to protect those endangered. Flounder, coney and pollack all make great tasting alternatives to the more favoured fish such as haddock and cod and will help prolong their existence and increase their numbers.
Leon’s top five fish: Halibut Sole Seabass Scallops Megrim, extremely sustainable and very under used Leon personally told us to give this a try What should we be looking for when buying fish fresh? Look for fish with eyes that glow, they should be shiny, not dull and look as though they still have some life in them. Look at the gills on the fish, they should be a rich pinkish/red colour not a dull brown. Contrary to popular belief, the smell of fish should not be offensive. Their scent should be of clean, seawater. One of the most important things to look for is a reliant, sustainable source. In order to carry on enjoying fish we have to begin making responsible choices and once in a while try and branch out, cooking with less in demand fish such as pouting.
WHY NOT TRY... Leon Seraphin’s Herb crusted Halibut with a wasabi beurre blanc sauce
together lemon, lime, parsley and
dill and coat either side of your prepared fish fillet.
2.Heat your pan and once searing hot, add oil and lay your fish down presentation side first.
3.Once your fish begins to turn golden and curl at either end, flip it and cook the other side.
4.After a minute or so, remove the pan from the heat and coat your fish in breadcrumbs with a dusting of parmesan. (Leon used panko, a Japanese breadcrumb but assured that any will do.) Then place your pan into the oven at 180 degrees for seven minutes until your crust has hardened.
create your accompanying beurre
blanc sauce, fry shallots, white wine and white wine vinegar in a pan.
6.Once it has reduced and thickened, add cream and butter bit by bit whisking all the time to create a syrup consistency.
7.Finally, add a teaspoon of wasabi paste to the beurre blanc and spoon over your fish. Leon served his dish with fondant potato.
In case you were not lucky enough to witness these young chefs taking on the live challenge at 9.20am, these chef’s had one hour to prepare, cook and serve four portions of ‘Supreme of Chicken Maryland,’ to be served on a single platter to the recipe and method requested.
ighteen year old and bronze award
entered any competitions before and I wasn’t
winner Daniel Harris had this to say
sure what to expect on the day. I was a little
on how he became involved with
nervous at first but once I started I forgot I was
enjoyed Salon and got to watch some of the
February, I was originally working with City
other chefs in their live demonstrations. It was
Bristol College, but unfortunately they had
something I have never been to see before and
to let me go, but they found me a placement
I learnt a lot.”
with Sodexo as an apprentice. The competi-
“I enjoy cooking most things but one of my
tion went quickly, although we had an hour to
favourite dishes is beef stroganoff and cooking
complete this recipe the time went really fast.
traditional Spanish food.”
You practice so much to perfect everything, but once in front of an audience everything seems to just go out of the window.” And what is his favourite dish to cook? “Not Supreme of Chicken Maryland thats for sure” he laughs. “Maybe chicken strata.” The King of Supreme Chicken Maryland and the winner of the Junior apprentice was Gustavo Vaca. He started working for Sodexo as a waiter in 2007 in the catering department. In
words by Kristine Waite
being judged and carried on as normal. I really
“I have been working with Sodexo since
2011 he had the opportunity to start an apprenticeship within the kitchen department to become a chef. “I was surprised to win the silver award and to be announced as the Best in class for the Junior apprentice challenge, especially after watching the other junior chefs and seeing the high standard. I have never
es, trim and shape. • Remove the skin from the suprem and neatly remove Scrape the bone with a knife to clean the knuck le. and mix 2 eggs •Prepare pane- season 200g of flour egg mixture and the with 80ml of milk. Place flour, the breadcrumbs in separate trays. • Peel the bananas and cut in half
seasoned flour • Pass the chicken into the lightly egg/milk mix and patting off the excess, then into the , shaking off the excess finally into the fresh breadcrumbs and placing on a clean tray. a halves. • Repeat this process with the 4 banan
ing 40ml of milk • To make the fritters whist the remain add the flour, mixing with the remaining egg then slowly until a smooth batter is forme d. Grill the bacon until • Season and stir in the sweetcorn. golden and crisp, keep warm. es in a little oil • Shallow fry the chicken suprem n brown to a core and butter until sealed and golde temperature of 75ºC. butter and cook the • In a separate pan heat oil and the outside and soft bananas until crisp and golden on in the middle. . • Halve the tomatoes and grill lightly
adding a little oil. • Heat a clean non-s tick pan before at a time to give Add a tablespoon of sweetcorn batter golden, turn over and you 4 nice pancake shapes. When e from the pan continue to cook until golden. Remov and drain on kitchen paper.
platter with demi glace, • Serve the supremes on a china fritter and a sauceboat bacon, sweetcorn pancake, banana of horseradish sauce.
words by Francesca Wright Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 13
The Fish Competition THE PRESSURE WAS INTENSE, AS THERE WERE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FROM THE JUDGES
ith fish being present throughout demonstrations, supplier’s stands and in multiple competitions, the pressure on the participants was intense.
Food is in Sodexo’s heritage and good food is compulsory
throughout their institutions, so there were high expectations from contestants dishes. Sponsored by Direct Seafood who were also on hand with a Master Fishmonger to demonstrate fish filleting techniques earlier in the day, the seats were lined with supporters for the ten chefs participating. The event was separated into sections. Before the challenge began contestants had 15 minutes to create their dish plan from a box of ingredients containing shallots, dill, parsley, spinach and fennel amongst other vegetables and herbs. Then time began and each chef was given a ten minute period to prepare and fillet an entire fish. Once the judges had given the filleted fish the all clear, the contestants were given 30 minutes to use the prepared piece to create two identical dishes to a fine dining standard. The menus varied from seabass to seabream all accompanied by exquisite dishes such as fennel mash and courgette spaghetti. The support on the day from chef ’s co-workers was incredible. Shaun Williamson a contestant and site manager at the Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth had a huge team cheering him on making the atmosphere enjoyable for all. There for three years his team were eager to see him win but were still full of congratulations when he
14 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
was awarded merit and top of the class went to Gavin Moore who received gold. Gavin has been with Sodexo for seven years and was thrilled at winning. He said, “It wasn’t expected. I didn’t think I would end up winning because there was such a high standard.” Gavin’s winning dish consisted of seabass and despite the limited ingredients and time, he stated ‘I like the pressure’ and clearly thrived under the restrictions. Not his first time at a Sodexo competition, he received bronze in the Pasta challenge a few years ago and now has plans to return next year and compete in the Dish of the Day challenge. Congratulations to all entrants this year and good luck to those returning for next years Sodexo Salon Culinaire.
“It wasn’t expected. I didn’t think I would end up winning because there was such a high standard”
words by Kristine Waite
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 15
The Sodexo Young chef of the T year
A large number of spectators gathered in the arena, for one of the most highly anticipated events of the day. Sodexoâ€™s Young Chef of the Year competition, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions and Churchill China, brought together a group of highly talented competitors, all 24 years and under.
he task at hand consisted of preparing, cooking, and presenting two identical plated portions of a main course and a gateau pithivier within the 60 minute time allocation. The main course dish had to be created using sole or seabass, and completed
with suitable vegetables, carbohydrate and appropriate garnish. The finished dish also had to include at least one Knorr professional puree. The gateau pithivier must have been created
16 â€˘ Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
“My boss Raymond Thompson asked me if I was interested in applying for it, and it is the second time that I have been a contestant. I felt that it went alright, but the equipment was quite different to what I’m used to using, which threw me a bit at first, but then I just developed a rhythm and it was fine”
using the stipulated recipe from the book ‘Professional Chef 2’, and
won the Dish of the Day competition. After training at Gloucester
was to be served complete without any garnish for a minimum of
College, she has been working at Eton College for two years now. Her
manager, Ian Morton, described her as ‘barking mad’ and ‘absolutely
First place was awarded to 21 year old Ross McMillan who works
flying’ – clearly an incredible young chef in the making.
as a junior chef de partie at the Stirling Management Centre in
Craft and food development director, David Mulcahy told us that
Scotland. When asked on his thoughts on the competition Ross told
“the purpose of the salon is to encourage competitors to showcase
us: “My boss Raymond Thompson asked me if I was interested in
talent and to learn from their experiences” – and in this sense every
applying for it, and it is the second time that I have been a contestant.
single competitor in the Young Chef of the Year competition was a
I felt that it went alright, but the equipment was quite different to
winner in their own right. They all came up with incredible, innova-
what I’m used to using, which threw me a bit at first, but then I just
tive dishes to an extremely high standard and made something that
developed a rhythm and it was fine.”
they should be very proud of. These are the chefs of Sodexo’s future,
Ross has been with the Sodexo company after they bought out the
and they deserve huge congratulations for their achievements.
Compass group in 2010, though has been a chef for five years now.
So well done to all of this year’s competitors, good luck for next
His winning dish comprised of seabass with chorizo, ratatouille,
year, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours with
chives and potatoes; served with a butternut squash coulis.
Sodexo. Definitely a force to be reckoned with.
The silver medal award was given to Lea Eastman-Thompson, and the bronze medal award went to Louisa May Matthews – who also
words by Louise Tansley
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 17
18 â€˘ Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
Levi Roots and His Reggae Reggae Sauce He has slain dragons with his Caribbean charm, rubbed shoulders with Bob Marley and outsold Heinz tomato ketchup. Now entrepreneur Levi Roots talks to us about his Dragonsâ€™ Den success, the future of his brand and how surprisingly, his favourite food is Italian.
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine â€˘ 19
music. Obviously Bob Marley also played a big part in my life, but essentially it was my grandmother. What’s your one special tip for cooking Caribbean food? Well I treat cooking like I treat music, if I’m writing a song and I have the lyrics and melody to make something beautiful, that’s what it’s like in the kitchen. One pot in cooking is the greatest way to learn; just you the pot and some Caribbean flavours. When I created ‘Reggae Reggae’ the aim wasn’t to make a hot pepper sauce. I wanted to create something that was flavoursome - something that would actually enhance the flavour of food and that to me is the secret. The sauce that I became famous for doesn’t blow your head off; it’s something everybody can enjoy. It’s a marinade, it’s a
Levi first hit our TV screens in 2006 when he surprised the Dragons with his guitar and catchy tune as he introduced his homemade ‘Reggae Reggae’ sauce. Since then he has become a household name and gone on to launch his own food range, cookbooks and TV cooking shows. Is there anything this man can’t do?
side sauce, it’s a relish, it can be used for anything! So is Caribbean still your favourite? Caribbean food has arrived now, so I often wonder what I can merge it with next. Our newest addition to the brand comes in the form of ‘Rasta Pasta’ putting a Caribbean twist on an Italian classic, which I think is great because Italian food is my favourite. Do you think your food has brought a new market from Jamaica and influenced the food we eat in the UK at all? I hope so. I know the effect of television has been great, especially with my show ‘Caribbean Food Made Easy’. It’s been fantastic to raise the profile of Caribbean
Hi Levi, how are you enjoying Salon Culinaire? Today had been ‘fabu-licious’ which is a mix between fabulous and delicious.
that’s when I realised that I could combine
food and I think that’s what we need;
my two biggest passions, hence the name
because if it’s not on TV sometimes it’s very
hard to make people aware.
You have been quite a successful musician;
I don’t think it’s about me, it’s about
What inspired you to make your sauce?
you were voted ‘Best Reggae Act’ at the
Caribbean food, but if I can be a market
Music and food have always been my life,
MOBOs in 1988. Who would you say are
leader in that I’ll take it baby! It’s great
your main influences musically?
that people are allowing me to do this,
music came first, obviously I thought I was going to be the biggest singer/songwriter
My favourite musician would have to be
recently the British pallet has opened up
there ever was, but you always need a plan
my grandmother, she means everything to
and welcomed all kinds of different flavours
B. Luckily I had one and it came in the form
me. She was all about the cooking and the
and everyone is getting behind it.
of cooking. I was always cooking on tour,
music. I remember she would sing in the
Notting Hill Carnival is a fantastic
when the band was practicing I would be
choir in our Baptist Church when I was a
celebration of Caribbean food, do you still
singing over a tiny stove somewhere and
little boy and through her I gained a love for
go each year?
20 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
I didn’t go this year. It was one of the first
Den. I said to Peter am I going to play this,
years where I didn’t go. I’m always there in
because I’m coming from the land of music
We are always looking to expand. In this
spirit though; the sauce is from there so that
where I control everything, but here I’m
business you never stop growing. In the
place will always mean a lot to me. I haven’t
an entrepreneur where it’s more of a team
five years since the brand has been around
forgotten preparing jars of it in the flat with
effort and he said – ‘Levi just be you!’
I’ve always looked for new ways to reinvent
my kids, then heading out to the streets to sell it. What do you think is the secret to your success?
So has Peter provided you with a lot partner? of Dragons’ Den; one was the money I went in for: £50,000 from Peter and Richard, but
Dragons were. Had I known, I don’t think
I think the best thing I got out of it was the
I would have performed true to myself, I
mentoring of a man who I now consider
would have been scared before I had even
to be one of my greatest friends. I have
arrived! Not knowing, I was able to just be
met some great people in my life (He’s not
myself, performing with my guitar and just
kidding, the list includes Bob Marley and
going with the vibe. I’ve been doing that
he sang happy birthday to Nelson Mandela)
ever since I started this whole thing and
and saddling between those two powerful
hopefully I can continue, because I love
men is Peter Jones; a great influence for me
being me! I think that’s the best advice I can
and someone I will always need. Did you ever think your recipes could be so successful?
point! Because if people don’t like you it
If you have a dream you have to realise it
doesn’t matter what you’re selling, they don’t
takes a lot of hard work to get there. Success
doesn’t happen overnight; it can come as
My mentor Peter Jones, my 7ft pet dragon, said the same thing to me after Dragons’
words by Stephanie Orr, Jessica Pook
There are two things I got when I came out
I’m just doing what I love, so I would have
be your own USP – your own unique selling
of support as your mentor and business
to say be yourself. I didn’t know who those
give to anyone about business, you’ve got to
What are your plans for the future?
quickly as it goes. Every morning when I wake up it feels like a dream.
Sodexo Salon Culiniaire Magazine • 21
INNOVATIVE BAKERY IDEAS FOR CHRISTMAS: GILES DENTON
ighly skilled chef Giles Denton runs the bakery
increasing our bakery line; where it used to be 50/50 now we’re
at one of Sodexo’s flagship sites: HSBC in Canary
looking at 5% patisserie, and 95% bakery, so it’s completely
Wharf. With the Great British public discovering
switched. And we make far more money out of the bakery than
a renewed passion for all things baked in recent years, we were excited to see what innovative ideas Giles had to bring to the table this Christmas. In November 2009, The Bake brand was developed at HSBC
we do on the patisserie. It’s got a much better margin.” We were surprised to discover that throughout the year at Bake, Oat & Raisin remains the biggest crowd pleaser. “Oat and raisin is always our biggest seller. It sells more than the butter croissants
GHQ to promote the ‘freshly made in house’ ethos of the
which is usually the biggest seller in bakeries. It’s quite surprising
company. Giles used the brand to convey the message that all
isn’t it? I think it’s because it is less sweet, it feels more wholesome
of his products used fresh ingredients, free range eggs, unsalted
the way we make it, therefore people feel less guilty about eating it.
butter and most importantly, are baked fresh.
It’s got exactly the same stuff in it as everything else has got; but we
Next month, the Bake brand celebrates its third birthday. In this relatively short space of time, Bake has increased the
don’t use anything artificial at all, so it’s all natural ingredients, all free range, unsalted butters, that sort of thing.”
numbers produced in-house from around 5500 items per week
Giles offered some advice for any budding bakers or pâtissiers
up to a huge 10-12,500. Giles chatted to us about his role within
out there: “Keep going, keep trying, because a failure still tastes
the company. “I’m based in the production kitchen and I work
good. Unless you’ve burnt it completely, even if it fails because
in the patisserie side. We branded Bake because we found that
of the ingredients in it, it still tastes good, so you’re not exactly
customers didn’t realise the food was all made in-house; they
wasting it. The thing is, like everything it’s a pleasure; it’s one of
thought we brought it all in. So we created a brand so people
the basic pleasures in life. Too many people tell you how bad it is
recognised that it is in-house baking. I did demonstrations and
for you, but it’s one of those things where a little bit of what you
was constantly out on the floors doing presentations just to get
fancy definitely does you good.”
that message through.” Giles also told us how the bakery element of the business is taking over other sectors: “Since day one we have been
22 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
words by Yasmine Najib
Hot Puddings The very last dish of the day had to be good...
s the judges struggled to lift their forks after endless tests and tastes, the hot puddings presented had to be exceptional to win them over. Of all the sights
and smells on the day, we weren’t prepared for the jaw dropping deliciousness of swirling chocolate melting away, roasted plums crackling with sweet juices or cream and meringue being whipped to snowy peaks. The rules were simple: competitors had 30 minutes to prepare, cook and present two portions of a hot dessert, using fresh plums. How or where they included the fruit was up to the
really does make perfect,” he said, when we asked for some tips on how to get our puds as delectable as his. “That and keeping a clean, tidy kitchen, you can’t work efficiently otherwise,” he said, and he would know; having worked for Sodexo for five years, preparing food for nearly 700 Navy personnel a day. With a victory at his second Salon Culinaire event his skills are going to be in demand, our mouths are already watering in anticipation of next year’s dish. words by Rachel Kennedy
creativity of the chefs – and creative they certainly were. One competitor prepared a roast plum ‘soup’ served with lightly toasted Italian meringues which unusual as it was, seemed the perfect sweet, winter treat for a cold day. Judge Dan Arratoon confirmed the importance of innovative ideas: “We want to see unique approaches to incorporating the fresh plum. Presentation as ever, is absolutely key.” This was a point not missed by Ellis Etherington, who served her plum and frangipane tart with a cheerful purple daisy, making her offering even sweeter. This heat had the increased pressure of creating a dish with complimenting flavours: “Plums tend to be very sweet,” one judge said, “The challenge will be balancing it out with a less sugary accompaniment,” and while the plum soup served with meringue might have been an intense sugar hit, another competitor got the balance just right - and went on to win best in class for his efforts. Rob Hickmott prepared a chocolate fondant which was served with poached plums, tuille biscuits and plum syrup. Perhaps the judges were getting full, or maybe their tooth isn’t as sweet as ours, either way we got a little nibble and we can see why it won. Even under pressure Rob’s poached plums were soft and full of fruity flavour while his fondant had the perfect, melting soft centre, which can be so difficult to achieve. He did confess this wasn’t the first time he’s made this particular dessert: “Practice
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 23
GREAT WAYS WITH FLORA
Whether it’s on toast, jackets or in cakes we all need a bit of butter to add some happiness to the duller foods in our lives, but as we struggle with the endless battle between what tastes good and what does good, there’s no denying that butter is an enemy, waiting to clog up our arteries.
24 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
owever you may have heard that there’s a new spread on
the competitions we have seen today Nick said “I think as a chef you
the shelves. A revolutionary spread that looks the same
learn to cook under pressure it’s what we do from a young age.”
and tastes the same but is healthier. Flora Buttery contains
Nick was especially enthusiastic about using Flora buttery in a good
just 1.6g saturated fat, compared to butter with 5.4g per serving and is
old Sunday lunch, “Spread it all over the roast chicken to give it that
made with seed oils containing heart-healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6,
golden crispy outside”, a favourite dish of his which he couldn’t help
ideal when maintaining a healthy diet.
Here at Sodexo we wanted to prove that you can indulge in a healthy
We asked Nick how successful he thought the event had been today
spread whilst still enjoying a rich butter-like taste without the guilt,
to which he answered “It’s been a really good day and we have had
cue the experiment.
lots of positive feedback, we’ve just had Matt Dawson get the buttery
The test consisted of identifying which out of the two squares of brownie was made from healthier option Flora buttery by identifying
challenge right so we can go home happy now.” Flora buttery is available in stores now.
the difference in taste and texture. Most of the participants confirmed that the brownie made with
words by Jessica Pook
Flora buttery had more of a gooey texture then the one made with normal butter and tasted just as rich and naughty as it’s made with buttermilk, ideal for baking. We spoke to Nick Parnell, an experienced chef of 17-years and buttery lover, who gave a demonstration about all the great ways to
TOP FLORA BUTTERY TIPS: •
DRIZZLE OVER FRESHLY STEAMED ASPARAGUS
use Flora Buttery.
“We need to make people aware of our product and how it can help them maintain a healthy diet. By replacing butter with Flora buttery they can reduce the amount of saturated fat and serve a healthy dish
TRY ON A STEAMING BAKED POTATOES
GREAT FOR SHALLOW FRYING AND BAKING
TRY ON SANDWICHES AND TOAST
GREAT IN A HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
as buttery is 72% less fat than normal butter.” Although Nick has 17 years experience in the kitchen it hasn’t always gone smoothly “I’ve been stabbed in the kitchen, my colleagues were messing around with a knife and spun it on the table, as I walked past it got me. I had to go to hospital and have 12 stitches but not before I had finished the dish I was making, so I worked with clingfilm wrapped around me.” When asked about the pressure that chefs face, especially in some of
Sodexo Salon Culiniare Magazine • 25
PICK OF THE DAY: SHARON ANN RILEY Having only being with the company for just over a month, and with five awards until her belt from this year’s salon alone, it is easy to see that Sharon is going to do very well within Sodexo. Her bubbly spirit and excitement for the day was just infectious, and it clearly paid off.
e quickly grabbed a moment
and cherry tomato jam, had us all wanting
with Sharon shortly after the
to lean over the barrier and grab ourselves a
announcement that she had
bite. Teaming this with her vegan ‘Power Up’
won the gold award for her novelty cake – the
mediterranean herb wrap, filled with roasted
inspiration for which came from the hippos
peppers, butternut squash, houmous, chick
swimming around on the BBC advert.
peas, toasted omega enriched seeds, juicy
Innovation at its best.
apricots, and spinach, meant that there was
“I’ve only been with Sodexo for about a
something for everyone’s taste. It certainly
month, so this is all completely new to me,
gave us a few ideas for spicing up our lunch
I’ve never been here before so I’ve really been
chucked in at the deep end. I have done cakes
The purpose of the Salon is to encourage
for quite a long time but I’ve never entered
competitors to showcase their talents and
anything like this before so it was really good
to learn from their experiences and as a
fun. It’s just all been really good fun. I’m so
new addition to the Sodexo family, she has
chuffed; I’m bouncing off the walls!”
definitely done exceedingly well at showing
As well as her incredible cake, Sharon also
everyone just what she can do. Debbie White;
created a mouth watering collaboration in
CEO, tells us: “Our development of aspiring
the Hot Deli Sandwich and Wrap category
future stars is testament to our commitment
bagging herself ‘Best in Class’. If you missed
to great food.” – and if this year’s Salon
the live show itself, competitors had 20
is anything to go by, Sharon is sure to be a
minutes to prepare and serve one bread
future star within the company.
based sandwich and one wrap of their choice, and boy were there some good choices. Her creation of a ‘Smokey Joe’s sandwich including chicken, portobello mushroom and pancetta served with garlic mayonnaise
26 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
words by Louise Tansley
•Cupcakes – Bronze Award •Tapas - Silver Award and Best in Class •Hot Deli Sandwich and Wrap – Best in Class (Silver Award) •Decorated Novelty Cake – Gold Award •Filled and/or Covered Sponge, Gateau or Cake – Best In Class (Gold Award)
nfusing a taste of oriental to the day was the Blue Dragon
but that he had thoroughly enjoyed it. Despite burning his hand in a
challenge, where four competitors took to the stage to cook a
cooking incident a few days before, the chef still showed he has what
dish of their choice using products from the Blue Dragon range.
it takes to win!
The cook off, which was timed to 30 minutes, saw: Christopher
Maria Slight came second achieving a Merit for her dish of, stir-fried
Baldwin, Pete Betts, Paul Farrer and Maria Slight take to the kitchens
noodles cooked with Blue Dragon’s Thai green paste and coconut
to prepare, cook and present two identical dishes, which had been
milk. Speaking to Maria after the competition, the chef from Gosport,
made using Blue Dragon ingredients to promote a light, healthy and
Southampton, who has been working in the catering industry for
15 years, said she enjoyed the competition although it was tense
With their fingers trembling to achieve the perfect finish to their
challenge. Asking her whether she cooked well under pressure she
dishes it looked like tough competition for all competitors. The
said: “I don’t mind really because that’s what being a chef is about.”
presentation of the meals looked exceptional and it was clear to see a
Maria explained also that she is a vegetarian and her favourite dishes
lot of hard work and concentration had gone into all dishes.
to cook are vegetarian lasagnes and curries.
Tom Parry, an executive chef who was one of the judge’s for this
As the catering industry often appears to be quite male dominated,
competition said: “I’m looking for innovation, a good technique and
interestingly it doesn’t seem to phase Maria who works in a kitchen
originality, in other words if I was eating it I would want to pay for it!” Paul Farrer was crowned the winner achieving a Bronze (best in class) for his dish of pan-fried duck breast and stir-fried vegetables, served with oriental mash potato. As it had been the first year the Blue Dragon competition had run, Paul admitted it had been tough,
with only two women.words by Louise Tansley Speaking about this she said: “It’s very much like this in the catering world to be honest, chefs always seem to be mostly men, but it doesn’t bother me too much because catering has always been something which means a lot to me.” words by Stephanie Orr
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 27
STREET FOOD ALLESANDRO WITH
After a particularly gruesome butchery demonstration came to a close, Salon Culinaire visitors were treated to something a little less gory. Highly skilled chef and Head of Food development at Leathams, Allesandro Cristiano shared with guests his favourite street foods from recent travels. The demonstration was designed to showcase how you can recreate that popular street food look and feel in your own restaurant.
llesandro wowed the crowds with Japanese Octopus
But is it just the cheap and cheerful approach to street food that has
Dumpling Balls, known as Takoyaki, a ball-shaped
customers queuing round the block, as well as chefs trying to recreate
Japanese snack made of a wheat flour based batter and
that street vendor vibe in their own kitchens? Allesandro cites
cooked in a special Takoyaki pan. “The Takoyaki is made with
reminiscence as one of the key factors in its increasing popularity.
the same recipe as the Yorkshire pudding, and made in a Japanese
“Definitely it’s a bit of nostalgia, for example, you’ve travelled to
dumpling pan which is again, similar to a Yorkshire pudding tin. I
Malaysia, you come back, you remember a curry, and you try to
still don’t really understand who had the idea first, hence why I am
re-create that memory, and you know, people follow fashion, so it’s
so intrigued by this dish.”
all in the creativity of trying. I think the main advantage is the credit
The second demo was Sicilian Suppli; Sicilian Stuffed rice balls. “You know Italians they love their Risotto; so any left over from my Risotto is turned into Arancini.”
crunch, and the fact you can get a decent burger for the same price you would pay for one in McDonalds.” Currently at Leathams, Allesandro and the team are doing huge
Allesandro spoke about the amazing flavours in street food, mixing
amounts of work on street food development, which he predicts will
and matching ingredients and flavours, but the need for the finished
continue to grow and evolve in the future to become more authentic.
product to retain its authenticity. He emphasised that provenance is
“I do research on what is popular at the moment and explore the
key if you want to sell!
main cuisines that are involved. Our innovation is customer led, so if
But just why has street food become so popular as of late? Allesandro shared with us what he considers to be some of the
the customer asks me to source a product for street food, I try to go out and look for that kind of innovation.”
biggest influences for the recent surge in street grub. “I think the
If you would like to try out any of the recipes Allesandro
recession has helped street food, because of the cost, for example,
demonstrated at Salon Culinaire, please visit the Leathams homepage
if you are alone, you wouldn’t want to go and sit by yourself in a
restaurant for an hour, that’s one issue. Second the money, you can fill up your stomach for a fiver, you don’t need to queue, you don’t need to talk with people, you just need to place your order and go.”
28 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
words by Yasmmine Najib
Cyrus Todiwala is incredibly proud of his Indian heritage and it’s evident in his cooking, which uses an abundance of authentic Indian ingredients.
aving grown up in a small Indian village he talks passionately about his country’s appreciation for good food; the mounds of red peppers which fill the fields at harvest, the Ria Festival during which different rice dishes are prepared daily and the integral nature of banana leaves in Indian cooking. Equally, he goes on to describe how fortunate we are in Britain to have such a wealth of food
resources available to us, and how important it is to support this. As a chef he does everything he can to support British produce, using 98% British meat in his cooking. “History of food is really important and sometimes we forget we live in one of the most privileged countries in the
WITH CYRUS TODIWALA
world, with some of the best produce available to us. And a great national health service!” he said. For his Salon Culinaire demonstration
a highly polished presentation and utilise
Cyrus prepared a medley of dishes including
cooking methods and skills learnt in Europe.
spiced rice with coconut, a quick vegetable
He frequently commented on the differences
torrine with runner beans, squash, carrot and
in meal preparation – particularly when it
fresh coconut, and fresh fish in banana leaf.
comes to rice which in England, he says, is
As he prepared the dishes; frying, sealing
‘too polished’. It doesn’t need washing like
and boiling simultaneously, he offered
the rice he’s cooked with in India: “There you
advice for preparing the perfect Indian
have to wash away mud and grit and stones!”
dishes. The importance of having a coconut
milk of exactly the right consistency and
Having grown up in one of the first Indian
the benefits of incorporating black mustard
villages to speak English fluently and utilise
seeds, a natural anti-flatulent which will help
this to trade and do business, Cyrus has
the body digest some of the spicier recipes.
gone on to be awarded an OBE and earlier
While his dishes were predominantly made
this year he received the prestigious Special
to traditional Indian recipes, using the herbs
Award from the Craft Guild of Chefs. Past
and spices of his country, he continually
winners have included highly prominent
refers back to his European training. Having
chefs including Raymond Blanc, the Roux
studied and worked in both France and
Brothers and Heston Blumenthal and Cyrus
Britain the dishes he prepared today have
recognised the honour claiming he was: “in good company”. Over the summer months Cyrus has been working with Sodexo, adapting some of his dishes into something they can reproduce at various events. The project, ‘Indian Summer’ will give Sodexo clients an unparalleled opportunity to experience unique Indian dishes designed to the highest standard. “As a company they are very dedicated to producing authentic food, which is really important to me. Together, we’ve created five original recipes, with good, strong Indian flavours,” he said. But for those who don’t get to experience these dishes, Cyrus’ book ‘International Cuisine: India’ is a wealth of innovative recipes, advice and tips placed in their cultural context. words by Rachel Kennedy
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 29
and sweet “WE LIKE TO SEE INNOVATIVE IDEAS, I TRIED ONE EARLIER WITH SALTED CARAMEL AND THERE’S BEEN A POPPING CANDY FLAVOUR TOO.” STATIC CAKE JUDGE
30 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
The Great Omelette Challenge One of the biggest and most competitive events of the Sodexo Salon Culinare 2012, with the highest and most in demand accolade was… The Great Omelette Challenge.
ith entrants in double figures, and the competition open to all, the pans were hot throughout the day with a constant
supply of super fast omelettes available to onlookers. The omelette is a quick, easy meal, bringing a change from the other intricate dish competitions and a welcomed break by many from top chefs to the public. The rules were simple. Entrants had to produce an omelette using pasteurized liquid egg and grated cheese in the fastest time. Butter was allowed to be added to the pan in advance, and the eggs whisked but time did not start until the egg hit the pan. The amount of tries was unlimited but the omelette had to look as it should and taste well enough to serve to the audience. Sodexo ambassador Matt Dawson was one of the many entrants to take to the stove. Competing against a long leader board and his agent, the heat of the competition got the better of him and he lost, serving an omelette that was not up to the judge’s standards ruining his chances of reaching the semi finals. After a long day of competitions and record times of under 11 seconds, the semi finals took place at the end of the day. The final four contestants consisted of three chefs and one member of the audience, all with one last chance to beat their previous time
H e re a re B e n ’ s t ip s fo r cre a t in g a fa s t yet d e li c i o u s o m e l et t e : To ensure it cooks fast and thorough you need a good heat in your pan.
and impress the judges. After a series of heats and serious taste tests the winner was announced. Ben Tamlyn, Executive Head Chef at Henderson Global Investors is now the proud owner of the Great Omelette Challenge winner title. 29-year-old Ben was at the event to support his fellow employees
Add a few knobs of butter and make sure your eggs are whisked and ready
and to team captain for a dinner the night before for top clients and
Ben’s top tip was to wait until the butter is a nut-brown colour before adding egg to the pan. This creates a large surface area of heat ensuring the egg will cook quicker.
When asked what his secret to glory was Ben simply said ‘Get angry
Tip the eggs into the pan and whisk not forgetting to add a little seasoning.
guests. with your omelette!’ A big thanks goes out to all participants and judges and a special thank you to sponsor Blue Arrow. words by Kristine Waite
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 31
Overall Winner of the Day “YOU’VE GOT TO ENJOY COOKING AND HAVE A PASSION FOR COOKING, BUT IT’S NOT JUST FOR CHEFS, ANYONE CAN DO IT!”
fter we took some time out from admiring the culinary delights on offer; we had a five minute catch up with our crowned Overall Winner of the Day, Account
Manager Lorraine Thomas. The self taught home baker started out at Sodexo nearly five years ago as a General Service Manager at Carpet Right. Despite the fact she has no formal craft training, she stole the show at the Salon Culinaire with her creative cupcakes, gaining ‘Best in Class’, ‘Best in Show’ in the Static classes and the biggest accolade of the day; ‘Overall Best in Show’. Lorraine’s irresistible treats were entered in the Cupcake Static competition consisting of 3 mouthwatering flavours. “I did a carrot cake filled with salted caramel, with a cream cheese and caramel frosting; topped with macadamia nuts. Then I did a lemon cake filled with fresh raspberries with a fresh lemon and raspberry butter-cream frosting and finally, a chocolate chip cheesecake.” The ‘Class SB: Cup Cakes’ category (sponsored by Premier Foods) meant each baker had to present a selection of three varieties including chocolate and lemon plus one other flavour of the competitor’s choice. These stipulations were two of each variety of each flavour of cupcake, totalling at 6. Lorraine wowed the judges with her imaginative entry ensuring her cakes wholly fitted the guidelines: ‘Perfectly executed cup cakes that were pleasing in appearance, texture and taste.’ The three times gold medallist talked to us about how her love of baking began. “It all sort of started a couple of years ago when I brought a Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, then I just started making cupcakes and baking at home with my daughter. Cupcakes have become a little bit of a hobby; I do some for kid’s parties and for friends at weekends. They seem to
have taken off in recent years; everybody’s selling them and cupcake stores are popping up everywhere!” A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into her award winning entries. As well as baking the winning cakes we saw on the day, Lorraine also perfected her cakes with a trial run at home on the Saturday, delivering any spares to lucky friends and family. As if the three gold medals and certificates Lorraine received at the awards ceremony were not enough, she also received a very special prize as the Overall Winner of the Day, “I get to go to the ‘Sodexo Star Awards,’ which was the prize for the ‘Best in Show’, which is taking place on the 22nd November at the Westminster Plaza Hotel.” The Star Awards ceremony is the highlight of the Sodexo calendar where hundreds of employees come together to recognise the talent, dedication and loyalty of people who, as individuals and team members, have epitomised their values and helped drive performance, and which this year Lorraine will be a part of. On Lorraine’s 4th year of entering, she explained that she always takes part to encourage her team to enter and enjoys leading by example. We had just enough time to ask who her biggest influence is in the kitchen.. And it’s the name that is on everyone’s lips in the baking world, “Well I think Celebrity Master Baker and judge on BBC’s Great British Bake off Paul Hollywood is the one at the moment isn’t he?! I love him! It would have been fantastic to win a day with him as a prize!”
32 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine
words by Yasmine Najib
A Big Thank You to Our Sponsors...
And to Our Judges... John Retallick, Master of Ceremonies Steve Scuffell, Crown Moran Hotels Steve Munkley, The Royal Garden Hotel Simon Stocker, Westminster Kingsway College David Grindrod, Bourne Leisure Mark Rigby, Premier Foods Sheila Lampkin, Chef Consultant Matt Owens, Zuidam Graham Crump, University of Warwick Steve Love, McCormick UK Ltd Peter Pelham, University of West London Peter Griffiths, Salon Culinaire Omero Gallucci, Chef Consultant Christopher Basten, Chef Consultant Ian Grout, Queen Anneâ€™s School Dan Arratoon, Evolve Hospitlaity
Nick Sinclair, Brooklands Hotel Surrey Cathy Adamson Gemma Amor Keith Burton Mark Cheetham Marie Conn Giles Denton Amanda Kemp Alexandra Kristall Glynn Lawrence Tom Parry Paul Preston Derek Reilly Sue Walker Mandy Walter Mark Wetherill
Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine â€˘ 33