University College Birmingham News

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University College Birmingham News

Star-studded judging panels for Easter competitions at UCB

The University was delighted to host two prestigious culinary competitions featuring some of the industry’s brightest stars just before the Easter vacation.

Leading chefs judged both the pastry and kitchen sections for the semi-finals of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence.

At the same time, the College of Food also hosted the 2nd UK Sugar Championships on behalf of the UK Pastry Club.

Top chefs including Gary Jones, of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, André Garrett, of Cliveden, and patisserie supremo Claire Clark were among the star-studded judging teams for the Royal Academy contest.

Chefs competing in the Academy’s pastry section were given five hours to produce two Charlotte russe, classic strawberry jam, eight millefeuille and six portions of verrine, dainty desserts in a glass.

For the kitchen challenge, the competitors had to complete a number of theory and skills tests including preparing scallops, cooking a whole chicken and dauphinoise potatoes, and baking a lemon tart.

The UK Sugar Championships saw juniors and seniors from hotels and restaurants create an incredible set of artistic sculptures up to a maximum height of 1.2-metres. Their work, adorned with flowers and ribbons, had to be of the highest order to pass muster with judges, led by Benoit Blin, chef patissier at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and star of BBC-2’s “Bake Off Crème de la Crème.”

Alumni Lee heads street food “take-over” at McIntyre House

Alumni Lee Desanges returned to UCB with some leading chefs to give a masterclass in street food – from a truck parked at McIntyre House.

Lee, who studied professional cookery at the College of Food, is a star of the UK street food scene and was invited to take part in the event alongside Luke Tipping, chef director of Simpsons, Birmingham, and Simon Hulstone, chef proprietor of The Elephant, Torquay.