The Latest News Headlines
WESTMINSTER STUDENT WINS THE 'MUTTON RENAISSANCE STUDENT CHEF CHALLENGE 2010'
Lucy Bednarczyk, an 18 year-old catering student from Westminster Kingsway College, served up the best Renaissance Mutton dish to win first place in the 'Student Chef Mutton Renaissance Challenge 2010' earlier this week.
During a tense cook-off final in London on Tuesday, Lucy, the only female in the final, fought off eight other national finalists to claim the prize with her delicious dish 'Braised Neck of Mutton, Mutton Cornish Pasty and Broth, Jerusalem Artichoke Purée, Creamed Kale and Bacon and Pied Mouton Mushrooms and a Parsley and Caper Jus'.
Lucy, from Hatfield Heath near Bishop Stortford in Hertfordshire, really impressed the judges with her disciplined approach to working in the kitchen and her outstanding dish.
Mutton Renaissance enthusiast and celebrity chef Brian Turner, who popped along to the cook-off to show his support for all the students and wish them well in the final, was also impressed with Lucy's professionalism in the kitchen.
A third year student studying for a Professional Chef Diploma, Lucy was thrilled when the judges announced she had been awarded the first place prize in the competition. She said: "I really wasn't expecting to win the competition - I'm blown away with the results. My last practice run cooking the dish went so smoothly that I was convinced something was going to go wrong on the day of the competition, but it couldn't have gone any better!
"I tried to practice my dish as much as possible leading up to the final, as well as keeping up with my studies and part-time job as a commis chef in a local pub. I specialise in preparing the pastry dishes there, so I decided to incorporate that into my dish for the competition.
"I really love cooking and my ultimate goal is to be a professional chef working in London. I recently completed a work experience placement at a Michelin starred restaurant in Notting Hill, and they said they would be delighted to hear from me after I graduate from college this summer. I had a fantastic experience there and I hope that winning this competition will prove to them that I have the potential to be a great chef."
Along with winning the first place accolade in the competition, Lucy also took home £500 prize money, a trophy and a framed certificate.
The second place position went to Tom Durn from University College Birmingham, who impressed the judges with his dish 'Trio of Mutton; Daube of Mutton, Sage and Thyme Faggots and Mini Shepherd's Pie, Anna Potato with Celeriac, Buttered January King Cabbage, Carrot and Swede Purée'. And third place was awarded to Laurence Shone of Preston College in Lancashire for his 'Mutton Cutlets, Mutton Sausage, Parmesan Anna Potato, Cabbage & Bacon, Fondant Carrots, Redcurrant Jus'.
Director of the Academy of Culinary Arts, Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, said: "The competition final was closely fought by the nine finalists who produced some wonderful Renaissance Mutton dishes, making the judging very difficult indeed. All of the finalists should be very proud of their efforts, particularly as a number of them were cooking with mutton for the first time.
"Lucy's dish was outstanding though, and we wish her many congratulations on winning the top prize. It had wonderful flavour and the quality of the mutton shone through. Lucy's dish would do well on any pub or restaurant menu."
Since the campaign for Renaissance Mutton began in 2004 with the Patronage of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, it has continued to go from strength to strength.
Chairman of the Mutton Renaissance Club, John Thorley OBE, said: "Our aim with this competition was to educate the next generation of chefs about the benefits of cooking with mutton and the assurances that come from using Renaissance Mutton, which is produced from traceable, farm assured sheep. We also hope that professional chefs working in industry will take inspiration from the winning recipes in our competition, as well as those on our website, and feature them on their menus."
Notes to Editors:
- To enter the Mutton Renaissance Challenge, students had to be studying for a catering qualification in England or Wales.
- Entrants were required to submit a main course dish for four covers using Renaissance Mutton as the main course ingredient, accompanied by at least one carbohydrate based garnish and at least two vegetable based dishes.
- Following an initial paper judging round, nine finalists were selected to attend the cook-off final which took place at Westminster Kingsway College in London on 18 January 2011.
- The second place prize winner received £300 and certificate, while the third place prize winner received £200 and a certificate. The remaining six students were highly commended with a certificate.
- The judges included:
- Andrew Sharp, Mutton Renaissance producer/farmer;
- Jeremy Ford, Group Executive Chef, Restaurant Associates/Roux Fine Dining and chef member of the Academy of Culinary Arts
- Idris Caldora MCA, Executive Chef, Chefs Adopt a School and chef member of the Academy of Culinary Arts
- Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, Academy of Culinary Arts
- Susannah Oates, Academy of Culinary Arts
- John Thorley OBE, Mutton Renaissance Campaign Chairman
- Hugh Judd, Foodservice Project Manager, EBLEX, the organisation for beef and lamb levy payers in England and a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)