Students battle it out in Masterchef style invention test
- Credit: Archant
Which of these young chefs will see their dish on the menu of a local restaurant?
Eight catering students from Suffolk New College in Ipswich put their skills to the test this week in a cook-off to help celebrate the East of England Co-op's Sourced Locally Fortnight.
On Monday afternoon (June 10) the pairs of students were charged with using a Taste of Suffolk breakfast packs (available while stocks last) to create an innovative new dish to restaurant standards, with the winning combination set to appear on the menu at The Crown at Woodbridge for a week.
The judging panel of Eat editor Charlotte Smith-Jarvis, Vernon Blackmore of The Anchor and The Table in Woodbridge, The Dog and Duck at Campsea Ashe and The Easton White Horse, Peter Gwizdala of Arlingtons, and representatives from the college and East of England Co-op, were treated to four plates of food, crafted using the local sausagemeat, sausages and bacon, and Havensfield eggs as a starting point.
Each team had only two hours to complete their dishes.
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All five judges said they were blown away by the level of inventiveness and skill the young chefs demonstrated, with each of them hitting the brief for 'thinking outside of the box', using local produce and presenting their plates to a restaurant standard.
Charlotte said: "It's very encouraging to see such passion and dedication from the chefs of tomorrow. All their plates showcased a keeness to impress, high levels of skill, and lots of passion- three key ingredients you need working in the industry. We would have been happy to pay for any of the items we were presented at the tasting and I'm sure they'll go on to be assets wherever they work in the future once their college journey has ended."
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In first place at the event were Ethan Overrett and Hannah Wright, whose dish will feature on The Crown's menu. They prepared layers of potato and bacon, topped with a perfectly poached egg, served with melting Baron Bigod brie, diced apple and walnut, and red onion relish. Judges agreed the dish fit the brief well and that every element was cooked brilliantly.
Rosita Vaskeviciute and Lulu Perry were next up with their elegant take on a Scotch egg. Using the sausagemeat from their competition tray, they created a forcemeat enhanced with fiery nduja, wrapped around an oozing egg and surrounded by a pretty collar of crisp potatoes.
The ladies shared second place with Jack Mackay and Sam Jacques who, due to circumstances beyond their control, found themselves cooking their dish for the first time ever at the competition. Judges were wowed by their take on a classic burger, which saw a doughnut bun filled with pork patties and bacon onion relish, topped with unbeatable onion rings and served with homemade tomato relish and triple cooked chips.
In third place were Sam Revell and Scarlet Longstaff Eade who ambitiously chose to use pastry for their sausage ragu pie, laden with fennel and red wine, served with tenderstem, onion puree, apple and crunchy potatoes.
"Well done to them all," adds Charlotte, "there was very little between them in the scoring so in our eyes they were all winners."
The students completed the challenge in the kitchen and restaurant of Shelley's at Suffolk New College which is open during term time (now from September) for lunch and dinner.