EEF Venues is celebrating its culinary success at the Venues of Excellence annual culinary competition, The Cook and Serve Challenge, at Cambridge Regional College, followed by an Awards Dinner held at Kents Hill Park Conference & Training Centre in Milton Keynes.
Now in its 19th year, the live cookery competition tests the skill of participants and attracted 14 team entries this year from Venues of Excellence’s member venues nationwide.
In the heat of battle, Jade Douglas (pictured with Mark Houghton, Executive Chef, Birmingham University ), a junior sous chef at EEF Venues’ residential venue, Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa, won the ‘best junior main course’ award.
Michael Endean, head chef at EEF Venues’ Westminster venue, Broadway House, won the ‘best senior main course’ award. Endean and his general catering manager, Matt Govan, also walked away the Chairman’s Award for the best team.
Judged by a panel of industry experts, including Peter Griffiths MBE, president of the British Culinary Federation, each team had to prepare and serve a three-course meal suitable for an end of conference banquet, accompanied by cocktails, appropriate wines and coffee.
David Vaughton, managing director of EEF Venues, said, “This is a tremendous achievement given the exceptionally high standards of the competition and the pressure of cooking on the day in front of high profile industry judges.
“Our robust food development policy places provenance, seasonality and local sourcing at the heart of our menus and we have some impressive craft skills and talent within our three venues to make most of our fresh ingredients. These latest awards are a brilliant endorsement of our quality food offer and our commitment to meeting the diverse tastes and needs of our delegates.”