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Charlton House commis chef wins calorie counted cooking competition

Charlton House commis chef wins calorie counted cooking competition

A Charlton House commis chef has been voted winner of caterer CH&CO's Under 500 Calories cooking competition.

Roxy McDonagh's dish of Asian salmon with courgette ribbons saw off competition from 16 other chefs in the CH&Co business at the final cook-off held Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

The panel of judges, made up of Mark Peregrine, director of the Raymond Blanc Cookery School, Charlton House senior executive chef Dean Drewe, Fred Stanton, CH&Co head of craft skills and independent nutritionist Amanda Ursell, were looking for the tastiest work-place meal containing 500 calories or less per portion.

They said that McDonagh's dish had the perfect balance of flavours, the salmon was cooked to perfection and the dish fell way below the 500 calorie criteria. In addition, it was found to be cost effective to deliver and a light but satisfying combination of ingredients ideal for a lunchtime service.

McDonagh, who has been working as a chef for just 12 months, works for Charlton House at Virgin Atlantic Airways, under executive chef Marc Taplin who is a strong advocate of the company's Wellbeingbeingwell initiative. She was one of four finalists to originate from Marc's kitchen.

Commenting on the entrants, Dean Drewe said: "The response to the competition was excellent, demonstrating the strength of support we have across the business for our pledge to provide healthy yet tasty work-place meals.

"The quality of the entries was exceptionally high, and all of the shortlisted recipes showed great creativity and flair with some of the ingredients and nutritional knowledge used. All those who took part should be very proud of their achievements."

The Under 500 Calories competition is the latest initiative in the CH&Co Chef Nutrition Training Programme, run by Amanda Ursell and Lusso executive chef Jim Wealands, and is part of the company's award winning Wellbeingbeingwell initiative.

More than 70 chefs from CH&Co brands Lusso, Chester Boyd, Ampersand, Apostrophe and Charlton House entered the competition, from which the shortlist was drawn up. An Under 500 Calories E-Book featuring the shortlisted recipes, with McDonagh's Asian salmon with courgette ribbons receiving star billing, will be distributed across all CH&Co business in a bid to share best practise.

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