A world-famous pastry chef and an acclaimed BBC Food Champion of the Year were among the judges tasting delicious morsels at St Andrew’s this week.

This year’s Chef’s Showcase – which was held at the Main Building in Northampton – gave catering staff from all regions of the charity the opportunity to step into the limelight to demonstrate their talents and professional skills. During the two-hour event, staff, patients and a select panel of judges tasted a variety of savoury and sweet delights, before the judging panel voted for their favourite dishes.

The external judges included: Claire Clark MBE, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest pastry chefs; Richard Bertinet, the acclaimed 2010 BBC Food Champion of the Year; Jeremy Walding from Inox Equip (the catering equipment suppliers), Jonathan Harvey-Barnes of Essential Cuisine (catering food and drink suppliers) and David Persaund from the Soil Association. All of the judges remarked on the high standards and the quality of food delivered by St Andrew’s catering team.

St Andrew’s catering teams are no strangers to success; last year they won a ‘Healthcare Caterer of the Year Award’ in the 2016 Foodservice Catey’s Awards, as well as ‘Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year’ in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2016/17.

The catering team also received positive feedback from patients and staff who attended the event. One commented: “I just wanted to say how lucky we are to have such talented chefs working for St Andrew’s. Whether it is fish and chips, exotic Chinese food or exquisite desserts and cakes, everything at the Chef’s Showcase event this afternoon was awesome.” Another added:  “Outstanding effort and results from all the chefs who participated. Well done on your creativity, skills and enthusiasm.”

With the challenge to pick just one winner and one runner up from a vast amount of entries, one for each category, after much deliberation the panel of judges decided on the following dishes:

Unique locally inspired dish – using locally sourced ingredients (British inspired)

Winner – Simon Pygott (Kemsley) – Braised ox tongue cobbler
Runner up – Russell Gowen (FitzRoy) – Cod cheek scampi  

Flavour of the orient – an original and unique dish that demonstrates colour, flavour and ethnicity

Winner – Jason Riley/ Mark Ashby (Main Building) – English duck with confit leg & oriental quail’s egg.

Runner up – Dean Martin (Catering management team) – Hang shao rou    

Best vegetarian dish 

Winner – Sam Hammond (William Wake House) – Vegetable roulade
Runner up – Giles Kaal (Main Building) – Thai green curry and green tea infused rice     

Best cake – Minimum of 8 to 10 inches, with two flavoured and decorative layers

Winner – Angelina Cresswell (Nottingham) – Dark chocolate, orange & ginger mousse
Runner up – Gary Pollock (William Wake House) – Mini black forest gateaux     

Best patisserie sweet
Winners – Russell Gowen (FitzRoy ) Ray’s chocolate and Mary Cooper (Essex) – Traditional tarts selection  

Best bread – British or continental styles of bread which have been flavoured and shaped  

Winner – Northampton café team
Runner up – Dale Leah (Main Building)

Congratulations to all of the winners!