The Combined Services Culinary Arts Team scooped gold at La Parade des Chefs at the Hospitality Show today (Monday).
The crack Armed Forces' team of RAF and Army chefs delivered a three-course lunch for 100 covers, demonstrating imaginative preparations of mackerel, duck, and chocolate and raspberries in a glass-walled competition kitchen at Birmingham NEC's.
The next generation of kitchen stars was under the spotlight at La Parade des Chefs, the show's fine-dining experience, which is being run as a junior team talent event this year.
Each team comprises five juniors mentored by one senior chef. All junior members have to be aged 23 or under on 1 January.
The Combined Services team featured Corporal Liam Grime (team captain - RAF); Senior Aircraftman Chris Woodcock (RAF); Senior Aircraftman Aaron Kenny (RAF); Senior Aircraftwoman Jenny Boggett (RAF); Private Grace Allen (Army); Private Pradeep Thakali (Army); and Corporal Chris Beavis (RAF - kitchen hand).
The Combined Services was the first of three teams to compete in the competition and will be followed by Compass Group and University College Birmingham on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
The menu by the Combined Services comprised:
Starter soused mackerel, fennel and carrot, mackerel mayonnaise and crispy smoked eel
Main course pan-fried breast of duck, leg ragu, braised butternut squash with seeds and purée, sprout tops and soya beans, port and red wine jus.
Dessert "Chocolate & Raspberries" (white chocolate cylinder, chocolate brownie, salted caramel ice-cream, raspberry fluid gel).
All the teams have to create an inspirational £32-a-head menu using ingredients that meet a food cost of at least 68% gross profit. A breakdown of the food costs has to be submitted.
As well as cooking for the restaurant guests, four additional plates of each course are provided on demand for the judges.
The restaurant service for La Parade des Chef, which is sponsored by Coup de Pates/Delice de France, is being provided by University College Birmingham throughout the competition.