Restaurant Associates head chef Sam Fisk and chef de partie Bryony O'Neill were crowned the winners of the Association of Catering Excellence (ACE) Ready Steady Cook competition last night (22 September).
A total of 14 teams from across the foodservice sector competed for the title in front of more than 200 people at East Wintergarden in London's Canary Wharf.
Their winning menu was cumin roast lamb fillet with crusted sweet potato, molasses, glazed feta and pickled beetroot followed by spiced pears, yoghurt espuma, almond crisp and blackberries.
All competing teams were given a mystery bag of ingredients, 30 minutes to plan their menu and then just 30 minutes to cook their dishes.
This year the competition adopted a new format to focus on the next generation of foodservice chefs, with each team of two including one chef under 25.
For the first time ever, the chefs were able to use an oven as well as induction hobs.
ACE chair Paul Hurren said this year's event was probably the best ever.
He said: "It's a great way to showcase the younger generation and those people who are coming through the ranks."
The competition was judged by chefs Adam Handling, Mike Reid and Daniel Ayton, who praised the competitors for their innovation and passion. Second place was awarded to Sodexo's team, while Lusso took third.
The Next Generation chef award, which was introduced to recognise those under the age of 25, went to Marc Bright from Vacherin.
The other companies that took part were Absolutely Catering, Bartlett Mitchell, BaxterStorey, Blue Apple, Brookwood Partnership, CH&Co, Elior, Holroyd Howe, ISS Food and Hospitality, and Lexington.
Each winning chef and their guest will enjoy a meal at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant in Bray.
A raffle raised £800 for ACE's chosen charity, the Wiggly Worm, which aims to improve health, wellbeing and self-esteem among the vulnerable and disadvantaged.