Chef of the Future 2012 – winner announced
15 May 2012
The Vegetarian Society’s cookery school, Cordon Vert, is pleased to announce that the winner of the Chef of the Future 2012 competition is Gary Ashley from Southampton.
To become Cordon Vert Chef of the Future, Gary completed two stages. Firstly, he had to create a three course menu which was suitable for vegetarians or vegans. He then produced the full meal at a live cook off at the Vegetarian Society headquarters in Cheshire, on 9 May.
Alex Connell, Principal Tutor, Cordon Vert, said “Congratulations to Gary Ashley, winner of Chef of the Future 2012. Gary beat off tough competition to get to the final, then on the day of the cook off he produced a magnificent three course meal. The detail and the quality of the presentation was superb. The flavours combined well and the dishes had contrast of texture. Gary demonstrated what really is possible with care, skill and attention to detail.”
Gary started his menu with a selection of tapas: wild mushroom and truffle risotto ball stuffed with goats cheese, bruschetta and cumin spiced sweet potatoes and a tomato and chilli sauce…and that was just the starter. His main was a mille feuille of Mediterranean vegetables, spinach, halloumi and roast pepper filo parcel; cous cous and coriander fritter; roasted tomato tagine sauce; sweet basil and apricot compote and toasted almonds. And, if that was not enough, to finish a trio of desserts, saffron brulee, mango and strawberry maki roll and lychee and strawberry jelly.
After winning Gary said, “It was a great pleasure competing amongst such enthusiastic young amateur chefs and winning the title of vegetarian Chef of the Future is the most prestigious accolade of my career. I was simply overwhelmed at receiving the award after finishing as a runner up in 2011. I created what I felt was a winning menu for this year and returned with energy and enthusiasm to produce some great vegetarian cuisine.”
Gary competed against fellow contestents: Natasha Koncewicz, from Suffolk and Olivia West, from Oxford.
On this year’s Chef of the Future judging panel Cordon Vert’s Principal Tutor Alex Connell, was joined by Damien Davenport, Director of Bistro 1847 and Mike Haddow, Group Executive Chef - Shire Hotels and Thwaites Inns of Character. The final judge was Jane Hughes, editor of The Vegetarian magazine and Secretary of the Guild of Food Writers.
The winner of the competition receives the title Cordon Vert Chef of the Future 2012, a fully funded Cordon Vert Professional Diploma course (worth in excess of £1,500), embroidered chef whites and a bottle of champagne.
The Cordon Vert School has an unrivalled reputation for excellent and innovative vegetarian cuisine drawing on a variety of international flavours and ingredients reflecting current trends in world cuisine with fresh and imaginative ideas. For more information on professional courses visit www.cordonvert.co.uk
Notes for editors
- For more press information please contact Su or Liz on 0161 925 2012/2013 email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com mobile 07973 108 165/7.
- For images of the finalists and the food please contact Su.
- A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or the by-products of slaughter.
- Diary date: National Vegetarian Week 2012 is from 21-27 May, contact Su or Liz for a press pack.