A Culinary Extravaganza: Oxford chefs gather for a night to remember

Author: Joanna Flood
Date: April 18, 2024
Category: News

On Saturday 13th April, our team at Said Business School hosted a culinary spectacle as over 170 head chefs from across Oxford descended upon its halls for the City of Oxford Guild of Chef’s Awards and Dinner. It marked a historic first as Said welcomed the event for the very first time.

The annual event is a chance for Oxford’s culinary maestros to mingle, share good food and unearth fresh talent.

Guild members, the crème de la crème of Oxford’s food scene, including Pierre Koffman, French chef and culinary tutor to both Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White, were treated to a gastronomic journey – a six-course dinner crafted by Said’s chef squad.

The dinner kicked off with a beloved classic: Said’s signature sourdough, smothered in smoked butter and topped with homemade pork scratchings. Guests were treated to chef de partie Kenny’s Korean fried chicken wings, paired with an Oxford blue cheese dressing and a pale ale from local brewery, Tap Social.

Inspired by the seasons and his love of Asian cooking, sous chef Sean’s dish was asparagus with a yuzu and basil velouté topped with a crab arancini. Meanwhile, Rob, executive head chef at Roots Bristol, transported guests back to his head chef days at the Pony Chew Valley with his leek and mussel vinaigrette, a nod to our chef partner and Great British Menu patron, Josh Eggleton.

The feast continued with head chef Gemma’s innovative take on Chalkstream trout, served alongside crispy potato terrine and tartare sauce. Followed by exec chef Steve’s Alden’s lamb fillet, paired with a carrot puree and crispy chicken skin.

Saving the best for last, chef de partie Asia closed the evening on a sweet note with a delicious dessert of rhubarb, white chocolate, and tarragon. She said: “I’m so excited to be cooking the dessert for this year’s banquet. I won Junior Chef of the Year last year so to be able to come back and cook the dessert is amazing!”

Reflecting on the evening, exec chef Steve said: “It’s a unique opportunity to host the Guild of Chef’s dinner and to have so many like-minded people in one room, creating an environment of positivity and passion for our wonderful industry. I wanted to give the team a chance to express themselves by fuelling their individuality through food by showcasing the food they love to eat, as opposed to traditional French cuisine like previous years”.

Echoing his sentiments, Guild Master Ben Gibbons added: “We were ecstatic that Said hosted this year’s City of Oxford Guild of Chef’s Charity and Awards dinner. It’s a prestigious event that celebrates the hospitality industry in Oxford, raising money for charity and giving junior chefs in Oxford the opportunity to showcase their skills. Steve, Marzena, Tim and the entire BaxterStorey team really raised the bar as to how this event will be executed in future years!”

The chefs and front of house team received a standing ovation from all the guests for their efforts in making it such a memorable night.


Photography by www.ronniallenphotography.com