Foodservice giant Compass is sending a contingent of two teams drawn from its catering staff to compete in the World Culinary Olympics taking place in Stuttgart, Germany between 14 and 19 February.
A team captained by James Larking, executive chef at Chartwells Higher Education, will compete live against 29 teams from six countries in the Community Catering Restaurant category. They will serve a menu on the theme 'our deepest roots begin with nature', with dishes including a salt baked beetroot, roasted celeriac and salsify wellington, chalk stream seatrout and Suffolk pork entrees.
In the Regional Team Culinary Arts category, Barry Flemming, executive chef for ESS - Compass' defence and government services arm, will lead a team against 52 regional teams from around the world. They will serve a menu based on the theme of 'earth, land and sea'. The entry will include a chocolate sculpture of mother nature made by team artist Terry Greenhouse from Levy UK - Compass' stadium, gig and conference business.
Team coach Graham Singer, culinary director for Compass Scotland, has competed four times in the Culinary Olympics for Team Scotland with a top ranking of fourth. Singer said: "To coach the Compass team for this Olympics is a real honour. Every team member is integral to the overall teams' success, with everyone pushing themselves to the limit to showcase their talent at a world class level, for the very first time.
"Developing the culinary careers of our chefs is critical to our business and this competition allows us to demonstrate the creativity and innovation we have in abundance at Compass. This has been 18 months in the making and we are here through blood, sweat and tears to compete with the crème de la crème."
Compass' two teams include Women in Food ambassadors Gemma Evans-Hurley and Ana Paula Oliver.
The caterer will be also be supporting Team England led by Compass Group UK & Ireland culinary director, Nick Vadis who has won gold, silver and bronze awards at previous Culinary Olympics.
The Compass Regional Team Culinary Arts
- Team captain & pastry chef – Barry Fleming, ESS
- Team chef – Gemma Evans–Hurley, Eurest
- Team chef – Gordon Mackenzie, ESS
- Team chef – Allen Townsend, Levy UK
- Team chef – David Auchie, ESS
- Assistant – Kevin Rocks, ESS
- Assistant – Stephen Ben, ESS
- Assistant – Ana Paula-Oliver, Restaurant Associates
The Compass Community Catering Restaurant Team
- Team captain – James Larkins, Chartwells
- Pastry chef – Ana Paula-Oliver, Restaurant Associates
- Team chef – Chris Macleod, ESS
- Team chef – Nathan Clark, ESS
- Assistant – Gordon Makenzie, ESS
- Assistant – David Bryant, Eurest