Two young chefs with Hilton Worldwide have impressed three of London's leading chefs with a selection of creative canapés to carry off the company's Apprentice Canapé Cup.
James Fox of the Metropole Hilton and Sarah Kempton of the Waldorf Hilton beat eight other teams of apprentices after their six canapés won over the taste-buds of the judging panel made up three executive chefs - Anthony Marshall of the London Hilton on Park Lane, Paul Gayler of the Lanesborough and Simon Young of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower - and Janet Harmer, hotels editor of Caterer and Hotelkeeper.
Their winning canapés included foie gras macaroons; Asian-style beef tartares; pan-fried scallops with chorizo jam; seared lamb and potato fondant with a white balsamic and mint jelly; Tequila shot; and white chocolate and strawberry cheesecake.
Fox and Kempton, were supported in the competition by Mathew Osborne, sous chef at the London Hilton on Park Lane, and the hotel's chef de partie, Laurie Thomas.
Marshall said that the competition - which he founded three years ago - formed part of Hilton Worldwide's one-year chef apprenticeship programme.
"Each month the company holds masterclasses for the apprentices and I wanted to hold something totally different, making it more competitive, so we introduced this competition with a mystery box of ingredients," Marshall explained. "To make the apprentices less nervous, we included in each team a sous chef and a chef de partie from this hotel.
"To make this year's competition more challenging, we designed it to be canapé themed, where you had to think out of the box. It was a fantastic day."
Fox and Kempton's prize includes cocktails at Trader Vics in the London Hilton on Park Lane and dinner at Galvin at Windows, on the hotel's 28th floor.
By Janet Harmer
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