Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or Grand Final: day 2

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th March 2015
Day two at the Nestle Toque d'Or grand final started with a sustainability talk with Footprint, who advised students to "put sustainability at the front of your priorities" They revealed that later today the students will be asked to prepare a sustainable meal comprising of two dishes. CAh-wfLWQAARm9fCyrus Todiwala, chef patron of Cafe Spice Namaste and chairman of judging for the BBC Food Awards, was next to take to the floor, talking about how important sustainability is to chefs. He said: "You are the future of this country, think of it first and foremost as your responsibility. The most precious commodity in the world is water. People fight and kill over water. "How are you as a chef going to make sure UK farmers survive? This is a big part of sustainability" He also mentioned breeding practices and how important it is to make sure they are above board. He said: "In Britain we have the best practices for breeding pigs in Europe, and battery farming hens is now banned here, so you will reap the benefits of better eggs and meat" He finished the talk by advising students to consider Asian food as a valid option for specialising. Mathew Perkins and Simon Smith from Aubrey Allen then demonstrated how to get the most out of the pig carcass. They demonstrated using a guilt pig, which is a young, female pig. They also told students they were welcome to go to Aubrey Allen to see more of the process. They showed the chefs the varying standard cuts like loins, shoulders, belly, ribeye (otherwise known as pork collar), and fillet steak. They also demonstrated how to use the lardo fat with the meat to give different tastes, and they mentioned pigs trotters and how to use them. The talk ended with Simon advising students to always check with suppliers where the meat is coming from, and always visit the farms if possible. I spoke to them after the demonstration and Simon said: "There is a lack of education in full carcass utilisation in today's market, with modern cookery techniques. We see ourselves as innovators and after representing team GB at the European Butchery Competition in Lyon and winning gold, we love to share our knowledge and skills." The challenge was then revealed. The students were to design a menu with sustainabilty at its core in one hour, to then be presented to the judges. The judges wanted to know the thinking behind it, what it is and what they are thinking in terms of the community, food waste and supply chain efficiency.CAjA-bqWwAAdugj Charlie Meyers, Managing Director of Footprint and one of the judges for this challenge, spoke to me about why he got involved with the competition. He said: "We have been involved for about seven years, what they do is brilliant for recognising new talent. It's all about nurturing new talent and giving them a platform. "Sustainability has got to be built in at grass routes level, it's not a fad. These days it is expected, but it's really important they stay ahead of the curve. This is a great way to get the catering colleges to put sustainabilty further up their curriculums." The challenge started with Doncaster college, who chose Arctic char, parsnip purée and buttered lentils and a drink of white Chardonnay for starter and a main of roasted ribeye of venison rolled with orange and apple served with kale, poached beetroot and thyme jus and a drink of Pinot Noir. Blackpool and the Fylde college were next, with a main of pan fried sea bream in a tamarin sauce with steamed asparagus, samphire and Blackpool tomatoes and a dessert of creme chiboust with poached rhubarb with pear purée and pear crisps. Sheffield City College chose smoked Gigha halibut with orange and chicory salad, rope grown British mussels and an orange and horseradish dressing, and North Indian curried Dorset lamb with puy lentils, spring pea and coriander pilaf rice and wild garlic raita for the main dish. UCB went with a starter of smoked red mullet with charged cucumber, buttered salsify and a main of Spring spiral of lamb, sweetbread nuggets with parsley purée, burnt onions and kale. Westminster Kingsway College decided on a starter of line caught ceviche seabass with lemon and lime and a main of roast pork fillet on the bone, pork black pudding, smoked pork bone marrow butter, Perry glazed pears, chanterelles, nettle jus and crackling. CAjPbJVWwAAwNuYFinally, City of Glasgow College picked pan fried pollack cheeks, liver boudin rolled in onion powder served with an onion purée and wild garlic for a starter and pork rib-eye served with a potato and apple rosti, black pudding, trotter nugget and a spiced rhubarb jus for the main dish. The second half of the day was on site at the O2 Arena. The teams were told they would be serving street food from a cart to the 4,000 people attending The X Factor Live Tour tomorrow. Each cart has a theme and each team was assigned one cart to develop the menu and dress the cart to reflect the cuisine being served. The teams were divided between three mentors; Glasgow College and UCB were working with Loch Fyne, Doncaster College and Westminster Kingsway College were with Chimichanga and  Sheffield College and Blackpool and Fylde College were with La Tasca. Each team has to produce 30 portions of food and they have to engage with the public to make sure they sell all of them. By Samantha Wright The Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or competition is a UK wide search for the best student brigades of both chefs and front-of-house. The winning college will receive £2,500 worth of catering equipment and the students win £430 and a place on the annual Toque d’Or study trip.      
The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th March 2015

Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or Grand Final: day 2