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Culinaire Salon

2012

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


Contents 04

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

22

Bakery Ideas for Christmas

23

Hot Desserts

24

Great ways with Flora

26

Pick of the Day

27

Blue Dragon Challenge

28

Street Food

29

Indian Summer

30

Static Competitions

31

Omelette Challenge

32

Overall Winner

33

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

2 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine •

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 year’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 • 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.

W

hen

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.

T

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

asked

about

involvement the

Barista Challenge

company

minutes, the toasted marshmallow latte being a renowned favourite!

his

The second task was entitled the Triangular Cupping Competition

within he

which consisted of identifying the odd coffee in a batch of three for

spoke

five blends of coffee. And lastly, but most certainly not least was the

passionately about his love for food and

creating and presenting of three drinks; an espresso, a cappuccino,

healthy eating and why this encouraged him

and a signature drink of the entrants choice to WBC rules.

to team up with Sodexo:

The winner, Annabelle Farago, who works for Sodexo’s Corporate

“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

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

skills Matt, there’s definitely a re match on the horizon.

words by Louise Tansley 4 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 5


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.

T

his year at the 2012 Salon Culinaire, Master Butcher

section can be roasted individually. Left on the bone it should be slow

Maxie Malcolm was welcomed to present a master class

roasted like many of the cuts to ensure tenderness. The top of the leg

in game with the focus on venison. How to handle the

can also be sold as a shank, an area extremely good value to money.

animal, where to find the meat and what to use it for, were all covered in the demonstration.

BUTCHERY DEMO

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.

Currently working at Rare Butchers in Mayfair, Maxie began his

The haunch is the deer’s bottom and is the most tender part on

career working beneath his father in the local shop. A job he said he

the animal. It is versatile and can be roasted with or without bone,

fell into, after four long years of working as an apprentice he now

quickly or slowly and makes great steak portions. When cooking

has over 20 years of experience behind him but remains eager to

steak, Maxie said get your pan as hot as possible, add oil and flash

learn and improve.

fry to your preferred degree

As venison is a type of meat

of rarity.

not widely used, often people

Finally Maxie unveiled the

feel weary on how to handle

strip loin, the lengths of flesh

the animal. Venison is a

running down either side of

young deer often bred wildly

the animal’s spine. This is

and caught at three years

the most expensive cut and

or younger. Their organic

is sought after by top chefs.

lifestyle ensures their meat

It is best roasted whole and is

has a strong taste that could

great for making a wellington,

rival beef or lamb. Despite its

this also working well as

youthfulness, the animal has a

steak.

lot of meat to offer and wide a

Finally to really make the

variety of cuts making its iron-

most of the animal, any left

rich flesh fantastic for cooking.

over pieces from the neck area and under the ribs can be trimmed of

Maxie began the first demonstration of the day by carefully

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

with all edible flesh removed, he talked through each cut explaining

its lowest price in years. With this step by step guide from our

how it can be used.

Master Butcher and a price to rival beef… why not try your first

First up was the belly. An unusual cut that is often ignored, this

game pie today.

long, flat piece is great for stuffing, rolling and roasting. Next he moved onto the legs. Great to roast as a whole, or the top

6 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

words by Kristine Waite

Sodexo Salon Culiniaire Magazine • 7


A

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

Ellis

Masters,

who

demonstrated

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

Bronze: Ben Davis Tony Stuart Andrea Suttill

Merit: Antony McKeown Shane O’Connor Paul Farrer

Dan Arratoon explained how difficult

Pasta: The Final Round 8 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

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

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

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

I

n the afternoon, one of the most highly anticipated live

included: coconut pancakes with mango and chilli prawns; spiced

competitions of the day took place in front of a packed out

loin of lamb and lamb’s liver sandwich; and more unusual offerings

audience. The Sodexo Grand Prix-Dish of the Day (sponsored

such as Partridge Pithivier, and Torchon of rabbit and guinea fowl.

by Unilever Food Solutions and Churchill China) saw ten chefs

We were surprised to see only one girl competing in the Dish

battling it out for the sought after Gold Award. Competitors had 60

of the Day contest, although Omero was quick to praise winner,

minutes to prepare, cook and present two plated portions of a warm

Chef de Partie Louisa May Matthews: “It is a shame there aren’t

or hot starter and two plated portions of a hot main course. Both the

more girls competing really, because I like to see the girls getting

starter and the main course were the competitors’ choice, with the

involved. There really are some great female chefs in Sodexo you

only requirement being that both dishes should be fully garnished.

know! This girl here is working very cleanly. She’s a very organised

Timing was a key factor in this cook off, with competitors losing

young lady, if there was a prize just for that, she would definitely

crucial marks if the dishes were not completed within the allocated

win! Hopefully her tidiness will show in her presentation; this will

time. We asked Executive Development Chef and judge Omero

show a tidy mind, and a clean mind means a clean plate.”

Galuluci what qualities the judges were looking for in the dish

After a tense 60 minutes battling it out in front of the judges, the

of the day: “Well innovation obviously, something that has been

competition came to a swift close. The delicious winning menu

executed well, and of a very different style to what we’ve seen

looked a little bit like this: ‘Pan fried fillet of bass, open lasagne of

before. Well cooked food, because that’s very important - they

crayfish and scallop, fennel and fish cream. for starter, followed by

need to treat it right! Also the way they work and look after their

a mouth watering best-end of lamb, gremolata-crusted lamb neck

product, because some people can abuse products, if you know

with braised pulses, accompanied by little roasts potatoes, lamb jus

what I mean. They don’t know how to look after it, especially with

and mint dressing.’

fish and other delicate foods.” Some of the mouth watering dishes being rustled up in 60 minutes

“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: Steve Wiley

We would like to wish a massive congratulations to Sodexo Grand Prix Dish of the Day winner Louisa May Matthews!

words by Yasmine Najib

10 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

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.

L

Leon Seraphin: Head Chef at the hoxton apprentice Leon Seraphin, like many chefs, is a big fan of fish. Now head chef at the

WHY NOT TRY...

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

Leon Seraphin’s Herb crusted Halibut with a wasabi beurre blanc sauce

apprentices, co-workers and audiences to try and cook less popular fish to protect those endangered. Flounder, coney and

1.Mix together lemon, lime, parsley and dill

pollack all make great tasting alternatives

and coat either side of your prepared fish fillet.

Junior Apprentice

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.

E

ighteen year old and bronze award

winner Daniel Harris had this to say on how he became involved with

Sodexo.

Sodexo

for the private catering company in London

to the more favoured fish such as haddock

magazine about the charity and how

‘Party Ingredients.’ They do many high end

and cod and will help prolong their

2.Heat your pan and once searing hot, add

to get involved.

catering jobs, they recently catered for the

existence and increase their numbers.

oil and lay your fish down presentation side

February, I was originally working with

What is Hoxton Apprentice?

Queens Jubilee. He has got that chance now,

first.

City Bristol College, but unfortunately

Hoxton Apprentice is a charity for the

he’s now a hard working chef. For me everyone

unemployed to gain experience and confidence

I work with are my family, they will all be at

in the catering field. The founder Gordon

my leaving do in a few weeks. I was once one

D’Silver, had a vision for unemployed people

of them, I started with nothing and now I have

to train while receiving a wage at the same

something, I am a success in my own right.

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

eon

Seraphin

talks

to

time. We take unemployed apprentices for six

Success Rate?

3.Once your fish begins to turn golden and

“I have been working with Sodexo since

they had to let me go, but they found me a placement with Sodexo as an apprentice. The

side.

competition went quickly, although we had an hour to complete this recipe the time went

the heat and coat your fish in breadcrumbs

really fast. You practice so much to perfect

with a dusting of parmesan.

everything, but once in front of

(Leon used panko, a Japanese breadcrumb

an audience everything seems

but assured that any will do.)

to just go out of the window.”

months and put them in work placements. We

Many of our chefs who have been working

start them off with an NVQ level 2 and they

with us have worked for many different

start either at the back of house or the front

companies including Sodexo. Some have

What should we be looking for when buying

Then place your pan into the oven at 180

of house.

worked with Gordon Ramsay and catered

fish fresh?

degrees for seven minutes until your crust

We have had many people from a variety

in the Emirates Stadium. Last year we did a

Look for fish with eyes that glow, they

of backgrounds asking to work at Hoxton

dinner for the Queen in the Gherkin, it was

should be shiny, not dull and look as

5.To create your accompanying beurre blanc

Maryland thats for sure” he

Apprentice. Few have qualifications, some

an incredible experience. Hoxton is something

though they still have some life in them.

sauce, fry shallots, white wine and white wine

laughs. “Maybe chicken strata.”

have experienced homelessness or have drug

I am very proud of, it is something positive

Look at the gills on the fish, they should

vinegar in a pan.

and alcohol addictions. We want to help them

where we turn someone’s life around, and I will

be a rich pinkish/red colour not a dull

6.Once

turn their lives around by making a positive

continue to be an ambassador for the charity.

brown. Contrary to popular belief, the

cream and butter bit by bit whisking all the

Junior apprentice was Gustavo

How would someone get an interview for

smell of fish should not be offensive. Their

time to create a syrup consistency.

Can anyone join?

Hoxton Apprentice and the Training for life

scent should be of clean, seawater.One of

7.Finally, add a teaspoon of wasabi paste to

Vaca. He started working for

Yes, all I am looking for is a good work ethic

scheme?

contribution to society.

has hardened.

it has reduced and thickened, add

And what is his favourite dish to cook? “Not Supreme of Chicken

The King of Supreme Chicken Maryland and the winner of the

Sodexo as a waiter in 2007 in

the most important things to look for is

the beurre blanc and spoon over your fish.

the catering department. In

and a can do attitude. I make the decision

Our apprentices are recruited though local

a reliant, sustainable source. In order to

Leon served his dish with fondant potato.

2011 he had the opportunity to

whether I will give you a chance or not and it is

jobsites, employment agencies and word of

carry on enjoying fish we have to begin

start an apprenticeship within

more than likely that I will. When I am looking

mouth. Occasionally Training for Life takes part

making responsible choices and once in a

the kitchen department to

for candidates I look for passion, I ask: “Do

in employment trade shows such as Osmani

while try and branch out, cooking with less

they have it in their hearts to become a chef?”

Trust job fairs and the such.

in demand fish such as pouting.

words by Kristine Waite

become a chef. “I was surprised to win

It doesn’t matter who and what they were or

If you wish to get involved with Training

the silver award and to be

are, it’s what do they want to be. I once had

for Life or any of the apprentice programmes

announced as the Best in

an apprentice who was 50 years old, he came

mentioned please contact:

class for the Junior apprentice challenge, especially after

to me in an interview telling me “Chef, I’ve tried everything in life, I just want a chance.”

http://www.trainingforlife.org

watching the other junior chefs

I gave him a chance and now he is working

http://www.hoxtonapprentice.com/

and seeing the high standard.

words by Francesca Wright 12 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

and I wasn’t sure what to expect on the day. I was a little nervous at first but once I started I forgot I was being judged and carried on as normal. I really enjoyed Salon and got to watch some of the other chefs in their live

curl at either end, flip it and cook the other

4.After a minute or so, remove the pan from

I have never entered any competitions before

demonstrations. It was something I have never been to see before and I learnt a lot.” “I enjoy cooking most things but one of my favourite dishes is beef stroganoff and cooking traditional Spanish food.”

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

W

ith fish being present throughout demonstrations,

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”

supplier’s stands and in multiple competitions, the pressure on the participants was intense.

words by Kristine Waite

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

Winner:

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.

Gavin Moore

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

Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 15


“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”

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. Sodexo’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.

the bronze medal award went to Louisa May Matthews – who also

was to be served complete without any garnish for a minimum of

won the Dish of the Day competition. After training at Gloucester

six portions.

College, she has been working at Eton College for two years now. Her

First place was awarded to 21 year old Ross McMillan who works as a junior chef de partie at the Stirling Management Centre in

flying’ – clearly an incredible young chef in the making. Craft and food development director, David Mulcahy told us that

us: “My boss Raymond Thompson asked me if I was interested in

“the purpose of the salon is to encourage competitors to showcase

applying for it, and it is the second time that I have been a contestant.

talent and to learn from their experiences” – and in this sense every

I felt that it went alright, but the equipment was quite different to

single competitor in the Young Chef of the Year competition was a

what I’m used to using, which threw me a bit at first, but then I just

winner in their own right. They all came up with incredible, innova-

developed a rhythm and it was fine.”

tive dishes to an extremely high standard and made something that

Ross has been with the Sodexo at Stirling Management centre for the past five years. His winning dish comprised of seabass with cho-

portions of a main course and a gateau pithivier within the 60 minute time alloca-

rizo, ratatouille, chives and potatoes; served with a butternut squash

tion. The main course dish had to be created using sole or seabass, and completed

coulis.

include at least one Knorr professional puree. The gateau pithivier must have been created

manager, Ian Mort, described her as ‘barking mad’ and ‘absolutely

Scotland. When asked on his thoughts on the competition Ross told

he task at hand consisted of preparing, cooking, and presenting two identical plated

with suitable vegetables, carbohydrate and appropriate garnish. The finished dish also had to

16 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

using the stipulated recipe from the book ‘Professional Chef 2’, and

The silver medal award was given to Lea Eastman-Thompson, and

they should be very proud of. These are the chefs of Sodexo’s future, and they deserve huge congratulations for their achievements. So well done to all of this year’s competitors, good luck for next year, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours with Sodexo. Definitely a force to be reckoned with.

words by Louise Tansley

Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 17


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 Dragons’ Den success, the future of his brand and how surprisingly, his favourite food is Italian.

Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 19 18 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine


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? Hi Levi, how are you enjoying Salon Culinaire? Today had been ‘fabu-licious’ which is a mix between fabulous and delicious.

side sauce, it’s a relish, it can be used for anything!

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

So is Caribbean still your favourite?

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

Caribbean food has arrived now, so I often

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

wonder what I can merge it with next. Our

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

newest addition to the brand comes in the

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

form of ‘Rasta Pasta’ putting a Caribbean

sell it.

twist on an Italian classic, which I think is great because Italian food is my favourite.

What do you think is the secret to your success?

So has Peter provided you with a lot partner?

I’m just doing what I love, so I would have

market from Jamaica and influenced the

of Dragons’ Den; one was the money I went

to say be yourself. I didn’t know who those

food we eat in the UK at all?

in for: £50,000 from Peter and Richard, but

Dragons were. Had I known, I don’t think

I hope so. I know the effect of television

I think the best thing I got out of it was the

I would have performed true to myself, I

has been great, especially with my show

mentoring of a man who I now consider

would have been scared before I had even

‘Caribbean Food Made Easy’. It’s been

to be one of my greatest friends. I have

arrived! Not knowing, I was able to just be

fantastic to raise the profile of Caribbean

met some great people in my life (He’s not

that’s when I realised that I could combine

myself, performing with my guitar and just

food and I think that’s what we need;

kidding, the list includes Bob Marley and

my two biggest passions, hence the name

going with the vibe. I’ve been doing that

because if it’s not on TV sometimes it’s very

he sang happy birthday to Nelson Mandela)

‘Reggae Reggae’.

ever since I started this whole thing and

hard to make people aware.

and saddling between those two powerful

hopefully I can continue, because I love

men is Peter Jones; a great influence for me and someone I will always need.

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

being me! I think that’s the best advice I can

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

give to anyone about business, you’ve got to

leader in that I’ll take it baby! It’s great

your main influences musically?

be your own USP – your own unique selling

that people are allowing me to do this,

point! Because if people don’t like you it

If you have a dream you have to realise it

Did you ever think your recipes could be so successful?

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

doesn’t matter what you’re selling, they don’t

and welcomed all kinds of different flavours

takes a lot of hard work to get there. Success

B. Luckily I had one and it came in the form

me. She was all about the cooking and the

want it.

and everyone is getting behind it.

doesn’t happen overnight; it can come as

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

My mentor Peter Jones, my 7ft pet dragon,

words by Stephanie Orr, Jessica Pook

There are two things I got when I came out

Do you think your food has brought a new

said the same thing to me after Dragons’

myself.

of support as your mentor and business

You have been quite a successful musician;

music came first, obviously I thought I was

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


Hot Puddings The very last dish of the day had to be good...

Innovative Bakery Ideas for Christmas: Giles Denton

H

is taking over other sectors: “Since day one we have been

at one of Sodexo’s flagship sites: HSBC in Canary

increasing our bakery line; where it used to be 50/50 now we’re

Wharf. With the Great British public discovering

looking at 5% patisserie, and 95% bakery, so it’s completely

a renewed passion for all things baked in recent years, we were

switched. And we make far more money out of the bakery than

excited to see what innovative ideas Giles had to bring to the

we do on the patisserie. It’s got a much better margin.”

In November 2009, The Bake brand was developed at HSBC

We were surprised to discover that throughout the year at Bake, Oat & Raisin remains the biggest crowd pleaser. “Oat and raisin

GHQ to promote the ‘freshly made in house’ ethos of the

is always our biggest seller. It sells more than the butter croissants

company. Giles used the brand to convey the message that all

which is usually the biggest seller in bakeries. It’s quite surprising

of his products used fresh ingredients, free range eggs, unsalted

isn’t it? I think it’s because it is less sweet, it feels more wholesome

butter and most importantly, are baked fresh.

the way we make it, therefore people feel less guilty about eating it.

Next month, the Bake brand celebrates its third birthday.

It’s got exactly the same stuff in it as everything else has got; but we

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

numbers produced in-house from around 5500 items per week

free range, unsalted butters, that sort of thing.”

up to a huge 10-12,500. Giles chatted to us about his role within

Giles offered some advice for any budding bakers or pâtissiers

the company. “I’m based in the production kitchen and I work

out there: “Keep going, keep trying, because a failure still tastes

in the patisserie side. We branded Bake because we found that

good. Unless you’ve burnt it completely, even if it fails because

customers didn’t realise the food was all made in-house; they

of the ingredients in it, it still tastes good, so you’re not exactly

thought we brought it all in. So we created a brand so people

wasting it. The thing is, like everything it’s a pleasure; it’s one of

recognised that it is in-house baking. I did demonstrations and

the basic pleasures in life. Too many people tell you how bad it is

was constantly out on the floors doing presentations just to get

for you, but it’s one of those things where a little bit of what you

that message through.”

fancy definitely does you good.”

Giles also told us how the bakery element of the business

22 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

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

ighly skilled chef Giles Denton runs the bakery

table this Christmas.

A

s the judges struggled to lift their forks after endless

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

words by Yasmine Najib

Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 23


H

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.

brag about.

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

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

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.

Top Flora Buttery tips:

We spoke to Nick Parnell, an experienced chef of 17-years and buttery lover, who gave a demonstration about all the great ways to

Drizzle over freshly steamed asparagus

use Flora Buttery.

spears

“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

The Blue

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.

W

e quickly grabbed a moment

including chicken, portobello mushroom

with Sharon shortly after the

and pancetta served with garlic mayonnaise

announcement that she had

and cherry tomato jam, had us all wanting

won the gold award for her novelty cake – the

to lean over the barrier and grab ourselves a

inspiration for which came from the hippos

bite. Teaming this with her vegan ‘Power Up’

swimming around on the BBC advert.

mediterranean herb wrap, filled with roasted

Innovation at its best.

peppers, butternut squash, houmous, chick

“I’ve only been with Sodexo for about a

peas, toasted omega enriched seeds, juicy

month, so this is all completely new to me,

apricots, and spinach, meant that there was

I’ve never been here before so I’ve really been

something for everyone’s taste. It certainly

chucked in at the deep end. I have done cakes

gave us a few ideas for spicing up our lunch

for quite a long time but I’ve never entered

at home.

anything like this before so it was really good

The purpose of the Salon is to encourage

fun. It’s just all been really good fun. I’m so

competitors to showcase their talents and

chuffed; I’m bouncing off the walls!”

to learn from their experiences and as a

As well as her incredible cake, Sharon also

new addition to the Sodexo family, she has

created a mouth watering collaboration in

definitely done exceedingly well at showing

the Hot Deli Sandwich and Wrap category

everyone just what she can do. Debbie White;

bagging herself ‘Best in Class’. If you missed

CEO, tells us: “Our development of aspiring

the live show itself, competitors had 20

future stars is testament to our commitment

minutes to prepare and serve one bread

to great food.” – and if this year’s Salon

based sandwich and one wrap of their choice,

is anything to go by, Sharon is sure to be a

and boy were there some good choices. Her creation of a ‘Smokey Joe’s sandwich

future star within the company. words by Louise Tansley

Dragon •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)

Challenge

I

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

seasonal meal.

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!”

with only two women.words by Louise Tansley

Paul Farrer was crowned the winner achieving a Bronze (best in

Speaking about this she said: “It’s very much like this in the catering

class) for his dish of pan-fried duck breast and stir-fried vegetables,

world to be honest, chefs always seem to be mostly men, but it doesn’t

served with oriental mash potato. As it had been the first year the

bother me too much because catering has always been something

Blue Dragon competition had run, Paul admitted it had been tough,

which means a lot to me.” words by Stephanie Orr

26 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 27


cristiano

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.

A

llesandro wowed the crowds with Japanese Octopus

need to talk with people, you just need to place your order and go.”

Dumpling Balls, known as Takoyaki, a ball-shaped

But is it just the cheap and cheerful approach to street food that has

Japanese snack made of a wheat flour based batter and

customers queuing round the block, as well as chefs trying to recreate

cooked in a special Takoyaki pan. “The Takoyaki is made with

that street vendor vibe in their own kitchens? Allesandro cites

the same recipe as the Yorkshire pudding, and made in a Japanese

reminiscence as one of the key factors in its increasing popularity.

dumpling pan which is again, similar to a Yorkshire pudding tin. I

“Definitely it’s a bit of nostalgia, for example, you’ve travelled to

still don’t really understand who had the idea first, hence why I am

Malaysia, you come back, you remember a curry, and you try to

so intrigued by this dish.”

re-create that memory, and you know, people follow fashion, so it’s

The second demo was Sicilian Suppli; Sicilian Stuffed rice balls.

all in the creativity of trying. I think the main advantage is the credit

“You know Italians they love their Risotto; so any left over from my

crunch, and the fact you can get a decent burger for the same price

Risotto is turned into Arancini.”

you would pay for one in McDonalds.”

Allesandro spoke about the amazing flavours in street food, mixing

Currently at Leathams, Allesandro and the team are doing huge

and matching ingredients and flavours, but the need for the finished

amounts of work on street food development, which he predicts will

product to retain its authenticity. He emphasised that provenance is

continue to grow and evolve in the future to become more authentic.

key if you want to sell!

“I do research on what is popular at the moment and explore the

But just why has street food become so popular as of late?

main cuisines that are involved. Our innovation is customer led, so if

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

biggest influences for the recent surge in street grub. “I think the

out and look for that kind of innovation.”

recession has helped street food, because of the cost, for example,

If you would like to try out any of the recipes Allesandro

if you are alone, you wouldn’t want to go and sit by yourself in a

demonstrated at Salon Culinaire, please visit the Leathams homepage

restaurant for an hour, that’s one issue. Second the money, you can

at :www.leathams.com

fill up your stomach for a fiver, you don’t need to queue, you don’t

words by Yasmmine Najib

28 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

H

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 world, with some of the best produce available to us. And a great national health service!” he said.

With Cyrus Todiwala

with

aving grown up in a small Indian village he talks passionately about his country’s appreciation for good food; the mounds of red

Indian Summer

street food allesandro

Cyrus Todiwala is incredibly proud of his Indian heritage and it’s evident in his cooking, which uses an abundance of authentic Indian ingredients.

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

he explains.

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


The Great Omelette Challenge

something

savory

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.

W

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

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

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

A Big Thank You to Our Sponsors...

“You’ve got to enjoy cooking and have a passion for cooking, but it’s not just for chefs, anyone can do it!”

A

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!”

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 Anne’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

words by Yasmine Najib 32 • Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine

Sodexo Salon Culinaire Magazine • 33


Sodexo - Salon Culinaire 2012  

Magazine produced by students at Southampton Solent University (Solent Creatives) to cover Sodexo's Salon Culinaire 2012 event.

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