Gordon’s School chefs awarded at International Salon Culinaire

THREE chefs from Gordon’s School in West End have been recognised at the International Salon Culinaire, the UK’s largest and most prestigious chef competition programme.

Stuart Turner was awarded a bronze medal in the Master Chefs Great Britain Challenge, in which he had just 30 minutes to prepare, cook and present two portions of a seafood dish using sustainable seafood.

NOW WE’RE COOKING – The Gordon’s team at Salon Culinaire:  head chef Paul Hopkins (back) with (front, left to right) Enzo Castiglione, Stuart Turner and James Regent

Facing 29 rivals, the Gordon’s chef de partie produced seared scallops with a cauliflower purée and black pudding garnished with pork crackling and a veal stock reduction. He said: “It was very nerve-racking – cameras everywhere and judges and health officials, but it was great fun and something I will definitely do again.”

Jamie Regent also won a bronze medal for transforming a trimmed rack of lamb into two main-course dishes within 45 minutes. James, who started cooking only two and a half years ago when he came to Gordon’s, produced lamb on a parmesan risotto with baby spinach and trompette mushrooms. “It was more nerve-racking getting the certificate,” he said with a laugh, adding: “I want to go for the silver next year.”

Enzo Castiglione was rewarded with a merit for his task of producing two portions of perfect fresh pasta with a sauce in the allotted half-hour.

The chefs were working in front of a live audience at the ExCeL centre in East London.

Gordon’s head of catering, Paul Hopkins, said: “I am really proud of what they have done. They have never had this opportunity before and for them to compete at such a high level and walk away with the achievements they have is incredible.”

Their dishes, which were sampled by the country’s top chefs, are already being prepared for students at the state boarding school.

He and his team serve nearly 2,000 meals every weekday to students and staff.  “We are already satisfying our toughest critics, the students,” Paul said.  “Now we have tested ourselves with the experts.”

For the full story get the 12 March edition of the News & Mail

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