British teams have triumphed in the IKA World Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany bringing home a clutch of medals between them.
The four-yearly competition, widely regarded as a highlight of the competitive food scene, took place between 14 and 19 February bringing together 2,000 entrants from 59 countries as well as 28,000 visitors from around the world.
The Scottish team led by team manager Robbie Penman and captain Orry Shand entered the 'chef’s table' category cooking seven dishes for twelve people, including dips, cold and hot plates and petit fours. The team walked away with a silver prize, an achievement they went on to replicate in the 'hot kitchen' category.
Fergus Ewing, MSP for Inverness and Nairn, said: “Delighted to see Scotland have won two silver medals in the Culinary Olympics. An outstanding achievement - well done all!”
For the first time a junior Welsh team, managed by Michael Kirkham-Evans and captained by Calum Smith competed. The team was one of the youngest in the competition, with an average age of 19, but despite this walked away with a silver medal in the 'restaurant of nations category' (junior), and a bronze medal in the 'chef's table edible buffet' category.
Culinary association of Wales president, Arwyn Watkins, said: “It was an outstanding performance by a very young junior team who are competing at their first Culinary Olympics.
“Wales is the only junior team at the Culinary Olympics with an exact gender balance. This is the future generation and we look forward to their development for the Culinary World Cup in 2022 in Luxembourg.”
The Welsh senior team, managed by Nick Davies and captained by Sergio Cinotti, was tasked with cooking a three-course menu for 110 diners in the 'restaurant of nations (senior)' category, winning a bronze medal for its efforts.
Watkins said: “I think that Culinary Team Wales returning with a silver medal and two bronze medals from the 2020 Culinary Olympics is a true reflection of where we are in terms of our development programme.”
Nick Vadis, the culinary director of Compass Group UK, helped coach Team England to two silver medals in the 'restaurant of nations (senior)' and 'chef’s table' categories.
Captain Adam Thomason said: “Loved being part of the England culinary team in the Olympics 2020. Double sliver good work guys!!! We can be proud of that. Thank for the support pulling this together Nick Vadis”
Compass UK's regional team, representing the UK, won a gold in the team buffet contest for their 'some call me Nature' concept and the Compass Community Catering Restaurant Team came away with a merit.
Foodservice director at Compass Group UK & Ireland Mick Hickman said: “We’re incredibly proud of what our Compass chefs have achieved at the Culinary Olympics this year. To win a Gold medal in the 'regional team culinary arts cold buffet' competition is an amazing feat! The judges’ comments were very complimentary and with all the work we do as a business around the environment, it is fantastic to see this being reflected in our competition work.
"The community catering restaurant team worked extremely hard, under immense pressure and came away with a well-earned Merit. We have a wealth of talent at Compass and the fact we’re able to compete at such a high level at events like this, highlights the calibre of chefs we have in our business. Our overall fifth ranking in the world is an outstanding achievement.”
Meanwhile the Culinary Ability Awards team, representing chefs with disabilities, made history by competing. The mixed nationality team with chefs from Scotland, Ireland, Italy and Germany entered in the 'community' category and received a special commendation by the organisers IFA.
Chris Sandford, the founder of the Culinary Ability Awards, which supports people with disabilities into careers in hospitality said: “After what can only be described as a truly unique event , The Culinary Ability Awards Olympic Team have been highly recommended for a special award at the 2020 Olympics , the judges were in there words very impressed with our teams composition and effort!”