A team from Stoke By Nayland Hotel has been crowned the winners of the UK Young Restaurant Team of the Year challenge.
The final of the competition took place at the 17th Skills for Chefs Conference and third Skills for Service Conference held in Sheffield on July 9 and 10. Each team in the final had to prepare and serve an eastern Mediterranean-themed dinner to four guests and a panel of judges.
Chefs Martin Lane, Jamie Mallet and waiter Jack Butler won first prize and a trip to the MSA Culinary Academy of Istanbul, where they will recreate the menu in Turkey with their mentor Alan Paton, executive chef at Stoke By Nayland Hotel, and get the opportunity to experience the sights and food culture across the city of Istanbul hosted by the MSA.
Their winning menu was: grilled red mullet fillet, almond tarator, beetroot sugar, kadaifi apricots, za'atar cucumber; cutlet and loin of nedging lamb, ras el hanout beluga lentils, garlic and onion seed kebab, lamb and pomegranate courgette flower, carrot and cumin purée, lamb fat gravy; and Callebaut chocolate and aleppo pepper dome, orange semifreddo, yogurt and cardamom cream, pistachio granola.
David McKown, director of the Skills Conferences organised by the University of Sheffield, said: "The judges commented on the excellent interpretation of the brief and the team are honoured to be visiting the MSA next year."
The judges included: Andrew Bennett, food and beverage director at Sheraton Park Lane Hotel; Nigel Crane, managing director of Essential Cuisine, renowned chef Paul Gayler; John McGeever, honorary vice-president of the Master Chefs of Great Britain; Alistair Sandall, senior inspector AA Hotels; and Stephen Lambert from the University of Brighton.
Other prizes were awarded to Scotland's Rural College for Highly Commended Menu and Sheffield City College for Highly Commended Service.
The 2015 competition will be announced in January and details will be posted on www.skillsforchefs.co.uk.