Lexington Catering and the Compass Culinary Team have picked up joint best-in-class silver medals at the Lexington Contract Caterers Superfood Challenge at this year's Hospitality Show 2015.
The 30-minute competition asked eight teams of two chefs each to prepare two main courses based around fresh, healthy ingredients, including superfoods, such as pomegranate, mung beans, spinach, quinoa and wholegrains.
The winning Lexington team comprised Ben Tamlyn and Joanne Moore, while the winning Compass duo comprised Alice Ross and Simon Webb.
Judges included Jim Eaves, executive chef at the Banbury House hotel; Terry Woolcock, executive chef at the Hatherley Manor hotel; Ian Nottage, chef director at Reynolds Catering Supplies; and Ian Jaundoo, executive chef at Liverpool Community College, and the Craft Guild regional representative of the North West; and James Tanner, chef director of the Salon Culinaire and co-owner of Tanners Restaurant in Plymouth.
Elior's team of Mark Crowe and Stuart Nisbet also picked up a silver medal, while the second Lexington team, of Tony Stuart and Louise Roberts, won a bronze. The Sodexo team of Anthony Chesney and Sean Mcmenen, and the RMB Chivenor team of Daniel Ward and Julius Zolubas each took home a merit award.
Nobody won gold on this occasion, as each team must reach a certain number of points to do so. Elior won a silver medal, while Lexington and Compass were awarded best-in-class silver as they scored more points.
The competition took place as part of the Salon Culinaire at the Hospitality Show, which is being held at Birmingham's NEC from 19 to 21 January, featuring hundreds of product and caterer exhibitors, as well as a host of competitions judged by top chefs.
Salon Culinaire chef director Tanner said the contest was particularly timely. He said: "Superfoods are exceptionally popular, especially at this time of year [January]. This is all about fresh flavours, all prepared for a healthy diet."
Speaking about the relatively short length of the 30-minute test, he added: "The teams here have all taken a different angle, and shown how you can use healthy ingredients to vary your menus. This is not a lot of time, but they've prepared stunning food."
Lexington was launched in 2002 by former Elior staff Mark Sunley, Katharine Lewis, and Rachel Lindner. It was bought by Elior in late 2014.