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Chefs and waiters compete in Warner's Culinary Team of the Year Awards

08 November 2010 by

Chefs and waiters from Nidd Hall near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and Bembridge Coast hotel on the Isle of Wight, carried off the top prizes in Warner Leisure Hotels'first Culinary Team of the Year Awards.

The competition, held at Unilever House in Leatherhead, Surrey, involved teams of two chefs and a front-of-ouse member of staff cooking and serving a three-course meal within two-and-a-half hours.

Invited guests judged the completed meal alongside a panel of judges who included David Mulcahy, of the Craft Guild of Chefs, and group food and development manager for Warner, David Grindrod.

Mulcahy praised the competition for highlighting the benefits of staff from front and back of house working together as one team. He added: "Having genuine guests here makes a big difference to the event, really focusing on what cooking and service is all about."

Nidd Hall, represented by head chef Jason Wardill, pastry chef Johanna Jarveik and Marzena Ulieowicz out front, scooped the Country Team of the Year award. Their winning dishes included a loin of Yorkshire venison with creamed celeriac, wild mushrooms and fondant potatoes, followed by a seasonal trio of pears (pear tarte tatin, poached pear and pear sorbet), and hand-made chocolate truffles.

Meanwhile, the Costal Team of the Year award went to the Bembridge Coast hotel, with Tristran Cole and Matt Clarke in the kitchen and John Guest serving at the table.

The winners were presented with an overnight hotel stay and dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Grindrod said the competition was part of an overall aim to raise standards and provide more training for chefs as a stepping stone to enter national competitions.

Warner currently employs more than 250 chefs, cooks and kitchen porters across its 13 properties - seven in country locations and six by the coast.

Warner Leisure Hotels in Sunday Times' best employer list >>

Young chef Young Waiter winners announced >>

The benefits of cooking competitions >>

By Janet Harmer

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