Two chefs have achieved the top prizes in the first ever Chef of the Year competition held by Harrison Catering Services.
Tracy Wadner, Catering Supervisor at the Motability Operations office in Bristol, won Hospitality Chef of the Year, while Robbie Olival, Chef de Partie at Cranleigh School in Surrey, won School Chef of the Year.
Harrison launched the competition to provide a forum for its cooks and chefs to showcase their skills at the highest level and to celebrate their talent and artistry. Cooks and chefs from across the company’s education and business and industry units submitted detailed menus, recipes and photos in the hope of being selected as one of the finalists for a live cooking competition.
Director of Food and Service Mark Stower said: “The Chef of the Year competition has only underscored what we at Harrison already knew: we have amazingly talented cooks and chefs who are creating fantastic food for our customers every day. Selecting the winners was a real challenge, but Tracy and Robbie both combined a high level of technical skill with creative flair to produce menus that stood out above the rest.”
Tracy’s three course menu featured a starter of mackerel escabèche with beetroot purée, beetroot, butternut squash and celeriac; a main course of milk-poached pork loin with savoy cabbage, pea purée, carrot purée, crispy prosciutto and veal jus; and a dessert of hot chocolate fondant with crème fraîche, honey tuile, thyme and white chocolate ganache and chocolate soil.
Robbie’s two course menu featured a deconstructed chicken Caesar salad with winter roast vegetables and cranberry chutney as main course, followed by passion fruit millefeuille for dessert.
The dishes were judged by Mark Stower, Joint Managing Director Gareth Harrison, Company Nutritionist Dr Juliet Gray, Purchasing Manager Graeme White, Group Manager Tony Shepherd and Development Chef Andy Lagor of Unilever Food Solutions.
Each winner received a trophy, personalised chef’s jacket with their Chef of the Year title, and a dinner for four at a top restaurant of their choice.