A winning day for our CH&CO family

30th September 2020

The shortlist for the 2020 Catey Awards has been revealed and today was also the final of the National Chef of the Year Competition. Both have given us a good cause to celebrate the achievements of our colleagues.

Vacherin Head chef, Nick Smith, was crowned National Chef of the Year having cooked up storm in front of a panel of judges at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Not content with walking away with the title, he also took the honour of the Best Pastry!

This year’s final was streamed online, in line with all the necessary restrictions. Ten chefs cooked a three-course menu of a “San Sebastian, modern-style tapas” starter of three different plates using fresh gilt-head bream; a lamb dish using both a prime and offal cut; and a “show-stopping” dessert focusing on strawberries and cream. To stand out from the crowd, the judges were looking for chefs showcasing the “best of British” and sustainability.

Nick dished up a starter of Gilthead ‘gazpacho’ Heirloom tomato & cucumber. His main was a Romney Marsh lamb, roe ravigote, fennel, samphire and aster. For his award winning dessert he served Sweet Eve strawberry split, clotted cream, lemon and mint.

Nick impressed all the judges with head judge, Paul Ainsworth saying, “We need winners like Nick to show the world what an amazing industry hospitality is, to encourage others to want to be chefs and to incentivise people to work hard to achieve their own personal dreams.

“Nick’s attention to detail when cooking and the passion he has shown throughout this competition has been incredible. You could see how much this title means to him and he is a really deserving winner.”

Other judges included Clare Symth, Claude Bosi, Graham Hornigold, Frederick Forster, Russell Bateman and previous winner, Kuba Winkowski.

Many congratulations Nick from all the CH&CO family.

We’re thrilled to find ourselves appearing on the Cateys 2020 shortlist twice. Firstly, our COO Allister Richards is shortlisted for the acclaimed Foodservice Caterer award and secondly, our education team is up for the Health & Nutrition gong for our schools’ catering programme that educates both children and adults in the long-term benefits of a healthy balanced diet and making the right food choices.

The winners will be announced on 24th November at a virtual awards event. Click here for the full shortlist.

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