Two gold medallists at the last Compass Chef of the Year competition joined forces to work their winning magic on judges in the ultimate teamwork challenge at Hotelympia.
Leszek Karpinski and Lee Warren, who both work for Compass subsidiary Chartwells and won gold in the senior and junior category, respectively, at the 2011 Compass awards, were crowned Essential Cuisine Team of the Year at the top UK hospitality show on Wednesday.
To win the title, the ‘Compass Group Culinary Team' cooked up a gastronomic treat in the Live Theatre of London's ExCel, creating three dishes with both British and ethnic influences.
They served up an oxtail bonbon with butternut squash, mushroom ragout and a pig's ear crisp, followed by hot smoked salmon with cauliflower pakora and tomato snow pea raita, finished with a lobster macadamia milk curry, made using Essential Cuisine Lobster Glace.
Demonstrating the importance of competitions, the pair used knowledge gleaned on the research trip they won at Compass Chef of the Year to make the fish course, a study tour to South Africa courtesy of the Southern African Macadamia Growers' Association (SAMAC).
In a new twist to the competition, now in its fourth year, Leszek and Lee then had to create a ‘signature dish' which would be a success in their own individual operations, showing innovative use of one or more of the Essential Cuisine Signature range for top-end kitchens.
Their ‘signature dish' comprised breast of duck wrapped in pancetta on celeriac puree with baby carrots, glazed beetroots, fondant potato and a red wine jus, made using Essential Cuisine's new Signature Red Wine Jus.
As well as working, Leszek and Lee both study at Westminster Kingsway College, for a Foundation Degree in Culinary Arts and an NVQ Level 3 in Professional Cookery, respectively.
This press release was provided by Essential Cuisine