Cooking up something good

July 27, 2018

We’re often told there is a dire shortage of skilled talent across many different industries, but this certainly isn’t the case for Radish.

Earlier this month, Churchill’s catering division held its first Chef of the Year competition under the Radish banner, bringing together some of its brightest and best to be judged by a panel of esteemed industry figures, among them a Michelin starred Chef. The event this year promised to be the most memorable yet with the introduction of our first Baker of the Year competition; and it did not disappoint!

The atmosphere was relaxed but focused as competitors arrived at Unilever’s Development Kitchen, the site chosen for this year’s competition. As guests sipped on their morning coffee, those who had been chosen to compete headed off for some final advice as they prepared themselves for the culinary challenge that lay ahead. With the room filled and pleasantries complete, attendees were treated to an inspirational ‘mystery box’ cooking demonstration from Daniel Clifford, star of the BBC’s Great British Menu and main attraction at Midsummer House, a two Michelin starred restaurant in Cambridge. Daniel’s creation – roasted cod with crispy bacon, chervil and a herb butter sauce – rustled up in an impressive 15 minutes proved the perfect appetiser as Radish’s chefs and bakers readied their ingredients and recalled recipes for one final time.

With just a few hours for the bakers and chefs to work with, the pressure was on. The chefs were asked to create a mystery box starter, main course, and dessert, whilst in the other kitchen bakers worked away on their cakes. Perhaps the most striking part of the day – aside from the abundance of talent on display – was the difference between each competition kitchen. In one, chefs bolted around as their dishes simmered away in pots and pans; in the other, bakers calmly worked away as their creations took shape in the ovens. Despite the contrast, both competitions demanded the highest degree of concentration and care – no standing around and looking at the clock here!

As the competition drew to a close and judges began marking the efforts, contestants filed out looking exhausted but relieved. It takes an incredible amount of determination and self-belief to cook to a time limit, let alone for judges who have sampled and prepared some of the best food in the world, so the relief was entirely understandable. With no two entries the same, judges took some time deliberating – a testament to the broad range of talent and skill found throughout Radish’s ranks. After much debate between the judges, the results were finally in…

Radish’s Chef of the Year 2018 is Terry Howard!

Radish’s inaugural Baker of the Year is Beverley Sayle!

Congratulations to you both and to all our contestants.

While the day is a fantastic showcase of all Radish’s talent, the competition also gives us an opportunity to thank all of our brilliant clients and suppliers. Radish truly believes in delicious and nutritious food that’s freshly prepared, but we couldn’t possibly achieve this without the support of everyone involved, so thank you once again.

Here’s to 2019!