Two of our talented chefs, Ryan Percopo and Spencer Warren competed in the ultimate industry cook-off at the Association of Catering Excellence (ACE) Ready Steady Cook finals, held at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, London.
In front a live audience of over 300 people, each of the 14 teams (which included a chef aged 25 or under) had to plan and prepare a main course and dessert within thirty minutes, using ingredients they had only been presented with half an hour before.
Ingredients ranged from guinea fowl, cannon of lamb, fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits; and store cupboard ingredients provided by local suppliers.
Ryan said: “We both really enjoyed the evening. Being our first time we didn’t know what to expect. It is very intense, with only half an hour to create two mains and two desserts out of a mystery box of ingredients. You also get very limited cooking space and utensils which really tests your skills and time management. We were really happy with our first attempt and really look forward to giving it another go in the future”.
Their chosen menu was
Garlic and rosemary roast cannon of lamb with dauphinoise potato, lemon butter tender stem broccoli, roast shallot and red wine jus
Lemon sugar poached pear, blackberry puree, Chantilly cream, caramelised pear and an almond crumble
The exciting but intense competition saw final dishes judged by Mike Reid, Executive Chef at M Restaurant; Adam Handling, founder of The Frog Restaurant and his apprentice, Connor Blades; Daniel Ayton, World Vice President, World Master Chef Society.
Leftover food ingredients will be distributed by City Harvest to organisations that help homeless people in London.