Christoph Eckert (Germany) received the Winner's medal
This year was one of our largest groups of competitors
Manchester was the host city for the 40th International Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition. The Bailliage of Great Britain worked tirelessly over the past two years to find the appropriate venue and had an outstanding list of sponsors. Leading the GB competition team were Conseiller Culinaire Vic Laws and Daniel Ayton, Vice-Conseiller Culinaire (Bailliage of London) who worked with Fielden College to provide the arena for the young chefs to compete.
This year was one of our largest groups of competitors. They came from 24 National Bailliages: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the USA. This year’s competition had four female and twenty male competitors with only six English-speaking countries represented.
The competitors’ programme was packed with culinary activities as well as a memorable trip to the Alex Ferguson Stand at the home of Manchester United Football Club. The massive food and beverage service the facility provides on game days was mind boggling, serving more than 6,000 covers in a three hour period. The young chefs were hosted for lunch in the Platinum Lounge sampling typical VIP fare.
Two other highlights for the chefs were the early morning produce market tour and a visit to The Clink, one of the UK Bailliage's charity projects. The Clink Charity has four restaurants and two gardens which, through the opportunity of a five step programme, offer prisoners assistance in their rehabilitation through recruiting, training, support, employment and mentorship. The chefs had a first-hand view of the success of this programme when they had dinner at The Clink Restaurant in a women’s prison in Styal.
On Friday morning, September 30th, the black box was revealed to the contestants when each group of chefs entered the menu writing room. This year’s mandatory ingredients were: one whole live crab, 2 fresh rabbits with their liver and kidneys, winter cabbage, British cooking apples and Cheddar cheese. The contestants had to use at least 50% each of the above mentioned items and could complement them with a large array of non-mandatory items.
The competition allows the young chefs 30 minutes to write their menu then 3½ hours to serve their first course followed by 15 minutes until their main and a final 15 minutes to their dessert. Although this year’s competition was not streamed live, Fielden College's “Campus Life” had an exceptional video of the competition edited and posted on-line by the evening. Everyone had to wait till the following evening to learn who the winners were.
The kitchen and tasting judges provided excellent and fair scoring which resulted in a Winner’s medal for Christoph Eckert from the Bailliage of Germany. The Runner-up was William Shane Mordido from the Bailliage of New Zealand and Third Place went to Mackenzie Ferguson from the Bailliage of Canada who also achieved the highest marks in the kitchen.
Competitions like this rely on the expertise and unbiased fairness of both the kitchen judges and the tasting judges – thank you to those who came from all corners of the world to play a part in this important role.
Last but certainly not least, for their generous contributions to the competition we are most grateful to:
- Le Cordon Bleu Paris (France) – represented in Manchester by Chef Loic Malfait
- Wüsthof Manufacturing (Germany)
- Bragard (France)
- Chef’s Hat (Canada)
- Valrhona Chocolate (France)
- Bidvest (Great Britain) Next year we will celebrate the 41st International Final on September 15th in Perth, Western Australia.
Lois Gilbert, Bailli Honoraire
Member, Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition Committee
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