Wessex Masterchef Competition
14 May, 2012
apetito held their annual ‘Wessex Masterchef’ competition on 25th April. The prestigious event aims to provide local schools in the area with the chance to show off their culinary skills by highlighting the working conditions of a real restaurant kitchen while giving students a platform for a future in the industry.
The premise is simple. Local schools are provided with a specific brief asking them to design a menu based around a specific theme which this year was elderly malnutrition. Those schools which come up with the best menu and explanation for their choices qualify for the final.
The three finalists are brought to the apetito HQ in Trowbridge, given an hour to think up a three course meal from the ingredients provided, asked to cook the meals to a good standard within limited time constraints, and then judged by a panel of senior ‘foodies’ - in this case Head Chef Phil Rimmer, Head of New Product Development Tim Charles and HR Director Carrie Morris.
The standard set by the three schools was extremely high, even working through a water leak in the kitchen (due to the heavy rain!) during preparation to get their meals ready. The eventual winner was Frome Community College for the third year out of five. Their Fillet of Gurnard with Lemon Dressing starter, main course of Thai Marinated Skirt of Beef with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple and Lime Meringue Pie dessert thrilled the judges.
Phil Rimmer said “As always we were blown away by the standard, quality, enthusiasm and passion of everybody involved. This was also the calmest kitchen we have seen in our years of running this competition – despite the flood!”
Carrie Morris agreed saying: “The students have produced amazing dishes, way beyond what I could do at that age.”
Harry Hitchcock from the winning school was delighted with the victory stating: “I really enjoyed it today. I am in my first year of a hospitality course at college and I really want to be a chef once I leave, so winning this helps us get the confidence to know that we are doing well.”
Teacher Sarah Petroff was very proud of her students saying: “The standard gets higher every year, so winning is always a shock. The most important thing is that the students are learning all the time, not just in the kitchen where they get a chance to display their skills but even for the written entries which require thought and research before they answer, so it’s such a good opportunity for them.
“It’s a fantastic competition and we will definitely be coming back to defend our trophy.”
For winning, Frome College were handed a cheque for £1,000, a cookery book and £25 of vouchers for a popular website for each student.
apetito will be hosting the event again next year. Who will be brave enough to take on Frome College?