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Servest chefs reach Hotelympia Salon Culinaire finals

Five talented Servest chefs working across different Servest catering contracts are to compete in separate Salon Culinaire finals at Hotelympia 2014.

Hotelympia, which takes place at ExCeL London from 28th April to 1st May, is the definitive event for the foodservice and hospitality market, attracting exhibitors and visitors from around the world. Salon Culinaire is one of the key attractions and the world’s premier culinary competition. It sees over 700 of the UK’s top chefs pit their finely honed skills against each other across a diverse range of competition categories.

Servest’s executive chef Chris Ince, who has worked as a chef for 20 years including in top restaurants in New York City and London, is hoping to fry the competition on the master chefs of Great Britain challenge.

He is joined by Matt Vernon, a chef for 10 years, taking part in food styling on a plate, Matt Mason, a chef for eight years, doing the rack of lamb skills test (junior section: under 23 on 1st January 2014), Amit Kalyankar, a chef for 10 years, taking part in Tilda chef of the year and Jayson Bent, a chef for 10 years, doing faster pasta. Around 10 chefs will be competing in each category.

Ince said: “We’re all really excited to be competing at this prestigious chef competition.

“In our everyday work we strive to achieve the highest standards in our cooking and we’re looking forward to showcasing our skills for the Salon Culinaire judges and gaining further experience. We’ve all been putting in a lot of practice to perfect our chosen dishes and we’re confident that we will do Servest proud. All the very best of success to Matt, Matt, Amit and Jayson,” he added.

Chef Matt Vernon, whose competition entry dish is pictured above, said: “I’ve been practicing hard and now I’m just making the final few tweaks to the dishes. I’m feeling really confident on both dishes so let’s see if I can manage to come away with a medal.”

More information about Servest’s competitors:

Matt Vernon, who has worked for Servest for three years and is based at Bosch in Worcester, opted to take part in the food styling on a plate 60-minute open live theatre competition (on 28th April) because the chefs can make any two chosen dishes they like. Matt will be preparing, cooking and presenting roast wood pigeon with celeriac and beetroot with a braised apple foie gras bon bon and bitter leaf salad with blackberry dressing, and monkfish tail with broad beans and chorizo alongside monkfish cheeks with iberico ham with chorizo crochets.

Matt Mason, who has worked for Servest for seven months and is based at Sainsbury’s at Ansty Park in Coventry, chose the rack of 30-minute lamb skills live theatre competition (on 29th April) because he feels really comfortable cooking with lamb and likes to work with this cut of lamb. His dish will be garnished with a smoked garlic mash with a chorizo and broad bean cassoulet with crispy shallot rings and a madeira juice.

“It would be great to take home the medal,” said Mason. “I’ve been practicing a lot and am really hopeful that if I can get over my nerves on the day it will be a great outcome.”

Chris Ince, who has worked for Servest for six years, chose to take part in the master chefs of Great Britain 30-minute open live theatre challenge (29th April). He will be preparing a monkfish dish with a spiced potato mousse, razor clams and a ginger sauce.

“It’s a lovely tasting dish that I’ll be preparing. There’s no point in worrying about what everyone else is doing. So I’ll just be focusing on my own dish and getting the processes perfect for that. So fingers crossed!” added Ince.

Amit Kalyankar, who has worked for Servest for two years and is based at Sainsbury’s Rye Park and Tesco Dagenham, opted to take part in the Tilda chef of the year 60-minute senior live theatre competition (30th April) because he is from India. Since rice is a staple in the Indian diet, he has a lot of experience in the different ways it can be prepared. He will be cooking Hyderabadi style roast rack of lamb with lemon flavored rice and spicy sweet potato dressed with mint and coriander chutney. For dessert he will be preparing Modak (rice dumpling stuffed with fresh grated coconut, jagaury and poppy seed) served with rose-scented rice kheer with golden raisins, dates, pistachio, almonds and cashew nuts.

“I am very excited about this competition,” said Amit. “I am feeling very positive about my dish and really hoping to win the title of Tilda chef of the year. I would also like to thank Chris Ince, my manager Robert Jessey and my line mangers for their great support in helping me prepare for the competition,” said Kalyankar.

Jayson Bent, who has worked for Servest for six years and is based at Fort Dunlop in Birmingham, chose the faster pasta 20-minute senior live theatre competition (30th April) because he wanted a challenge given that pasta is not his speciality. He will be making Shetland salmon and Worcester asparagus ravioli.

“I’m sure there will be a bit of pressure on the day but I’m confident that the dish will turn out well given all the hard work I’ve put in to date,” said Bent.

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