One Aldwych Hotel team is honoured at inaugural Craft Guild of Chefs National Team of the Year, Hotelympia

On Wednesday 7th March, yet another eventful day at Hotelympia, the team from One Aldwych Hotel, achieving Silver, best in class was announced the inaugural winners of the Craft Guild of Chefs National Team of the Year, new to 2018. The team from London pulled out all the stops to bring home the win and be crowned champions.

Along with the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year and Young National Chef of the Year, this competition is yet another prestige award recognising culinary excellence. The competition took place in the Live Theatre, as part of the International Salon Culinaire, ExCel, London.

The winning team of three consisted of Christophe Majewski, Jenny Davies and Patrick Wade.

Jenny Davies shares her joy of winning by saying, “Amazing and absolutely overwhelmed. We had a few moments during the actual service that kept us on our toes.” Christoph Majewski added, “staying calm paid off. Have a back-up plan and see it through until the end.”

Finalists were given 90 minutes to produce four portions of a three-course meal to include a vegan starter, venison main course and dessert designed around a twist on a British Classic. They were able to use any cut or cuts of venison (sponsored and provided by Denham Estate in Bury St Edmunds) but had to be mindful of wastage as marks could be deducted for this.

Prior to competition day, they were given the opportunity to practice with their chosen cut and a further piece was provided for the final. Only pre-peeled vegetables were allowed, as all other knife skills had to be demonstrated, to be judged and marked on. The use of seasonal British ingredients was encouraged.

The winning menu comprised of Salt baked celeriac with truffle yoghurt, roasted hazelnut vinaigrette, apple and wood sorrel as a starter, Haunch of Highland Venison with smoked beetroot, pain d’epices and butternut squash as a main course, and a rhubarb and custard (entirely gluten and dairy free) comprising of a poached Yorkshire rhubarb, sable biscuit, vanilla custard, white chocolate and rhubarb ice cream as a dessert, each beautifully presented to the panel of judges.

Steve Munkley, Chef Director of Salon Culinaire and a Craft Guild of Chefs Vice President said:

“This is the first one we’ve ever run like this and hopefully it’s going to grow and grow. The nine exciting teams, they came from some of the top end of the market. They found it tough, producing what they did in 90 minutes. A few of them didn’t find it as easy as expected but we are really pleased for the winners. They all did a super job. The judges out there that were tasting said some of the main courses were outstanding.”

During the competition the judges looked for exceptional knife skills, great preparation of the stocks and sauces used and balance of the menu content throughout the meal. Excellent leadership and direction from the head chef was marked on and deliverance of dishes had to bear a resemblance to a restaurant environment.

Full list of competitors and award placement

  • Christophe Majweski, Jenny Davies, Patrick Wade - One Aldwych Hotel –Winners – Silver Best in Class Award
  • Chris Basten, Jordon Powell, Joe Sullivan - Westminster Kingsway College – Silver Award
  • Sebastiano Cioffi, Manuele Schiavone, Erasmoe Leo - Wellesley Hotel – Bronze Award
  • Matt Jaynes, Stuart Taff, Jordon Thomas - Lexington Catering – Bronze Award
  • Tommy Yulhanson, Stefania De Luca, Jessica Gardiner - Elior – Bronze Award
  • Arvind Yaoav, Greg Jankovies, Camilla Flyxe - Hilton London Bankside – Bronze Award
  • James Buckley, Stephen Robinson, Michael Seedin - Compass Group UK & Ireland – Merit
  • Tom Booton, Adam Nevin, Mattia Righini - The Westbury, London – Merit
  • Carl Windspur, Michael Mercer, Matthew Brown - Sodexo – Participation

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