The winners of this year’s Teflon Diamond Standard Awards 2018, held today at the Waitrose Cookery School in Finchley, London, have been announced.
Ethan Kirkby, from Ermysted’s Grammar School, and Sarah Blockley, from Brentwood School, were named joint winners of Keen Young Cooks category, for entrants aged between 12 and 16, beating ten others to the title.
Blockley, who wants to be a professional cake decorator, cooked a raspberry and pistachio friands with a sweet crème anglaise sauce and tart raspberry coulis. Kirkby, who aspires to be a pastry chef, cooked a chocolate fondant with salted caramel sauce, brittle and raspberry coulis.
Rosina Watkins beat two others to win the Keen Home Cooks category for entrants aged over 17. The winner of a bespoke cookery weekend for two in Dorset said: “I’d like to thank everyone for such a fantastic day, the whole event has been incredible. I’m so passionate about cooking although I’ve never been a professional chef. It’s something I’d love to do.”
Mary Harper won the Aspiring Student Chefs award, which saw eight young chefs aged between 16 and 19 compete for a three-year specialised chefs scholarship at Bournemouth and Poole college in partnership with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. She said: “It was a dream to win this, it’ll change my life for sure.”
Competitors were asked to make eggs Benedict, a mystery fish dish that saw the ingredients – scallops, chorizo, samphire, cauliflower, garlic and cream – revealed on the day, and their own signature dish. Watkins won with a dish of goose bon bons with beetroot mash, glazed carrots, blackberry sauce and crispy leg while Harper’s cooked breast of pheasant, winter vegetables and parsnip purée, sherry vinegar perlage and port wine jus.
The specialised chef course, which has seen more than 300 chefs graduate over the last 25 years, is divided in to two parts – work based training with a chef member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and full time tuition.
All winners also took home Teflon non-stick coated cookware and cash prizes.
The day-long competition was judged by Lesley Waters, head of judges; Paul Dayman, senior chef lecturer at Bournemouth and Poole College; James Golding chef director of the Pig Group; James Ganderton, winner of the 2015 Teflon Diamond Standard Awards; Jacks McDonnell head teacher at the Lesley Waters Cookery School; and Simon Boyle, founder of the Beyond Food Foundation.
They judged the Student Chef and Home Cook categories with a score out of 100: preparation (10), eggs Benedict (20), mystery fish dish (20), own dish and presentation (30), professional practice (20).
The Teflon Diamond Standard Awards 2018 launched in 2012. It aims to support students to enter a career being a chef and gain recognition for home cooks.
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