Students Triumph at the “DOLMIO® & UNCLE BEN’S® Foodservice Student Catering Challenge” Live Cook-Off Final!

Students Triumph at the “DOLMIO® & UNCLE BEN’S® Foodservice Student Catering Challenge” Live Cook-Off Final!

On Monday 23rd January catering students Jack Reynolds from University College Birmingham and Zoe Taylor, Doncaster College and University Centre competed alongside six other catering students to battle it out in the Mars Foodservice catering challenge Live Grand Final Cook-Off at ‘The Great Hospitality Show’.

Competing in the Show’s prestigious Live Theatre in front of their peers, industry professionals and some of the highest regarded chefs in hospitality, the students had just one hour to demonstrate their culinary skills and expertise in the kitchen, by preparing two dishes suitable for a casual dining menu.

Jack Reynolds took home an outstanding three titles for ‘Best Gluten Free Main Course’, ‘Best Dessert’ and the special award for ‘Best Overall Menu’, as well as a most coveted Silver Salon Culinare Award. Zoe Taylor was also celebrating as she won the ‘Best Vegetarian Starter’ and a Bronze Salon Culinaire Award.

Both Jack and Zoe kept it cool in the heat of the kitchen, as the judges marked their efforts. On Workstation Five, Zoe Taylor’s exceptional combination of preparation, presentation and flavourful ingredients certainly didn’t go unnoticed by judges, with her ‘Baked Tomato and Basil Cannelloni’, made with Dolmio Tomato and Basil sauce winning her ‘Best Vegetarian Starter’.

Meanwhile, on Workstation Eight, Jack Reynolds impressed the judges with his Main Course of ‘Poached Atlantic Cod with Gluten Free Crust, Herb Rice Stuffed Pepper Kale with Bacon, Arrabbiata and Brown Shrimp Sauce’, made with Dolmio Arrabiatta sauce before wowing them with a unique take on cheesecake. Jack’s ‘Korma and Coconut Cheesecake with Lime Curd, Szechwan Mango Compote’, not only took on board current industry trends of sweet and savoury menu combinations, but utilised the UNCLE BEN’S® Korma and Szechwan sauces to create a standout, delicious recipe.

The standard across the board in the competition was extremely high with six of the students all achieving Bronze standard, and Jack gaining a Silver.

Willem Fijten, Culinary Product Design Scientist in the Mars Global Product Development team spoke of his delight at the achievements of not just the winners, but all who took part in the Live Cook-Off Final:

“Our young chefs are very talented and to see what these students have achieved during this competition has made both Mars Foodservice and myself very proud. Each of the students created two unique and delicious dishes using our DOLMIO® & UNCLE BEN’S® products, creating Starters, Main Courses and even Desserts. To see the quality of what they are cooking is inspiring and extremely encouraging for the future. .”

Mars Foodservice also offers congratulations to the other 6 finalists who all received Bronze and Merit Salon Culinaire awards:

  • Sam White, Doncaster College and University Centre
  • Tom Poskitt, Doncaster College and University Centre
  • Catherine Worely, North Hertfordshire College
  • Harry Tunnicliffe, North Hertfordshire College
  • Nicole Watts, North Hertfordshire College
  • Jun Au, University of West London

The “DOLMIO® & UNCLE BEN’S® Foodservice Student Catering Challenge” was launched to showcase the DOLMIO® & UNCLE BEN’S® Foodservice products and was created especially with catering students in mind. For further information please email cateringchallenge@rlpltd.co.uk

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