The Olive it! catering competition is back for 2015, and launching its search for the UK's most creative young chef.
Following the success of the 2014 competition that saw Jessica Newbold from Boston College, Lincolnshire, crowned the Olive it! Champion, the competition is looking for individuals up to the age of 25 to show off their passion for cooking, as well as demonstrating their culinary skills and understanding of the versatility of table olives in this year's contest.
The winner will receive an all-inclusive gastronomic weekend for two to visit the olive harvest in Spain worth £4,000, £400 worth of chefs' professional equipment of their choice and a week's placement at Omar Allibhoy's Tapas Revolution restaurant in London. Two runners-up will also receive £400 each worth of chef's professional equipment of their choice.
The competition will be judged by a panel of industry professionals including Omar Allibhoy, Ignacio Pérez from Interaceituna (The Spanish Olive Growers Association), Lisa Jenkins at The Caterer, hospitality industry expert Joel Fagg and a well-known food blogger Milli's Kitchen. The menu will be judged on its creativity, as well as taste.
Omar Allibhoy, said: "This is a great opportunity for the UK's top young chefs to showcase their abilities and to begin making a name for themselves with industry figures. The opportunity to compete in a live final is certainly an experience that will serve them well throughout the rest of their careers.
"Olives are one of the most versatile, delicious and nutritious ingredients available to any chef and I expect to see a diverse array of dishes and cuisines on offer in the competition entries. We hope that this competition will encourage the next generation of chefs to use olives more actively in their culinary creations."
The competition is open to those in full or part-time education and all entries must be received by the 31 March. Eight finalists will be shortlisted and notified by 10 April. They will then be invited to London for the final judging in early May, where they will be required to take part in a live cook-off where they will need to recreate their three-course menu for industry influencers, media and family and friends, and judges.
For full competition details and an entry form visit www.oliveit.eu/catering-competition. The first 50 entrants will be sent a free copy of the Olive it! recipe book.