Sodexo Chef Raises Cook Off Clangour with 40 Saucepans
Friday, January 24th, 2014
on behalf of Sodexo Prestige
A talented Sodexo Prestige chef has created a big noise when he turned up to take part in a cookery competition – with 40 of his own pots and pans.
Despite raising a clangour – and a few eyebrows – dedicated Tom Beauchamp eventually walked away with first prize.
And he revealed how he used every one of the metal saucepans during the 90 minutes it took to prepare a three course feast which included a hake and pickled surf clam starter, pork with apple fondant and parsnip puree main course and a stunning chocolate tart dessert.
Tom is the event development chef with Prestige Venues and Events, the event catering arm of catering giant Sodexo, working regularly with the exclusive catering partners at Dundas Castle. His team have also prepared mouth watering menus for VIP guests at the Open Golf championship, at the National Museum of Scotland and a host of other venues.
His competition debut came during the Sodexo Scottish Chef of the Year competition, where he was up against the cream of the company’s kitchen talent, who cover a broad spectrum of sectors providing catering expertise in airports, offshore facilities, schools and colleges, hospitals and a wide range of workplaces and venues.
Before joining Sodexo, Tom worked for celebrity chef Raymond Blanc at his double-Michelin starred restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison and also with Andrew Fairlie at his renowned restaurant at the Gleneagles Hotel.
It was during those years he was taught the discipline of using a new pan for every sauce, puree and paste he prepared – training came in useful during the competition held at Motherwell College.
Each of the competitors were given just 90 minutes to deliver dishes which had to feature a hake starter, pork main course and a Callebaut chocolate dessert. Judges included renowned chefs Joe Queen, considered one of Scotland’s greatest food ambassadors and Gordon Leitch, senior lecturer at Motherwell College.
Recipe for success
Unlike the other competitors, Tom did not realise he was allowed a kitchen porter to assist, but still managed to serve up hake fillet, smoked potatoes and sautéed watercress, pickled surf clams, lemon and tarragon beurre fondu to start; loin, belly and faggot of pork, cabbage, fondant Braeburn apple, parsnip puree and thyme jus as a main; followed by a chocolate tart, cocoa and ginger glaze, vanilla ice cream and mandarin sauce.
Delighted Stephen Frost, executive chef at Sodexo Prestige, put Tom forward for the award after working closely with him since his appointment with the firm last year.
Tom will now compete with the other UK finalists at Hotelympia, Excel, London on April 30 to become the overall Sodexo Chef of the Year.
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