Bien Causapin, a young chef studying at the Colchester Institute, has been named the winner of the Philadelphia Young Chef of the Year 2012 competition organised by Kraft Foods.
The competition, now in its third year, offers young people in full- or part-time education from the ages of 17 to 23, the chance to enter an original dish using Philadelphia as an ingredient.
The four finalists, Shaun Reest of Grimsby Institute, Joshua Saunders of Worcestershire College of Technology, Bien Causapin of Colchester Institute and William Breese of Westminster Kingsway College, had an hour to create their submissions with dishes including a starter of tomato tagliatelle with butter glazed asparagus, seared langoustines and Philadelphia; stuffed Ballotine and seared breast of baby chicken, pearl barley and tarragon risotto; pan-fried hake with mussels in Philadelphia sauce, chargrilled red pepper and cheesy potato croquettes and pan-fried cod fillet, pea and broad bean risotto with pea and mint velouté.
Susan Nash, trade communications director of Kraft Foods, said: "The judges were looking for innovation, cost analysis, good use of classic methods and a nutritionally balanced recipe. Causapin captured all of the required elements with his beautifully presented dish of pan-fried hake with mussels in Philadelphia sauce, chargrilled red pepper and cheesy potato croquettes".
The judges including Chris Basten, vice-chair, Craft Guild of Chefs; Sophie Wright, professional chef and Philadelphia Professional consultant; Paul Knight, managing director, 3663 Catering Equipment; and Sheila Eggleston, editor, Stockpot magazine; selected the final four from students across the country who had submitted either a starter or main course online.
Causapin was delighted with his win and showed no sign of any pressure - he was awarded with £500 prize money and a year's membership to the Craft Guild of Chefs. Each runner-up received £200 each and additionally, the Worcestershire College of Technology received £500 worth of catering equipment from 3663 Catering Equipment as the winner of a draw from all colleges that had taken part.
By Lisa Jenkins
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