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April 1, 2007

Imperial College shows its catering class

Those who may have thought that event catering at colleges and universities, which are increasingly attracting event business, may not compare with that of the more traditional conference and hospitality venues had better think again. The Catering Department at Imperial College London is currently celebrating after winning the much coveted Best Newcomers Award at the University Caterers Organisation’s (TUCO’s) annual Chef Challenge in Blackpool on 13 March. The team, made up of Steve Robertson, Ken Emmet and Martin Stafford, were delighted to take this recognition back to London following their first appearance at the competition.

The TUCO Chef’s Challenge is one of the most prestigious competitions in university catering and attracts teams from all over the country who compete for a TUCO Gold.

The main aim of the competition is to demonstrate that the standard of university catering is on a par with any sector within the conferencing and hospitality industry.

Accordingly, the competition is judged by a panel of esteemed judges taken from leading figureheads within the world of catering. This year, members of the panel included Steve Monkey from the Royal Garden Hotel in London, Luke Tipping from the Michelin-accredited restaurant Simpson’s in Birmingham, and Peter Griffiths, the director of Salon Culinaire and chairman of the judging panel.

In total, 15 universities participated in a two-hour cook off to prepare a four course meal; with each meal being judged on its balance of flavours and textures, as well as the kitchen skills of the participating chefs.

Commenting on Imperial’s win, Jane Neary, the head of vatering at Imperial College London, said: “I am extremely proud of our chefs’ culinary skills, as well as the professional approach and teamwork they displayed during this competition. This award is indicative of the wealth of talent and innovation that we have and I am confident that this talent will enable Imperial to return from the Chefs’ Challenge next year with further plaudits.”

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