Support Our Scottish Culinary Team as they travel to Germany to compete against some of the most talented chefs in the World

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th September 2016

Germany’s International Exhibition of Culinary Art or IKA is the culinary equivalent of the sporting Olympics and is host to the world’s largest culinary exhibition held every four years, often in Erfurt, Germany.

The world renowned competition was initially set up by a group of German chefs in 1896. The aim of the competition was for the chefs to share German cuisine with the world while learning about other cooking cultures. The first contest was held in Frankfurt in 1900 with only four nations taking part. Initially named, the International Verband Koche Deutschland, the competition was banned during World War Two as part of Hitler’s ban of all international societies. Until 1996 all events took place in Frankfurt before being housed in Berlin for four years. Since 2000 they have all been staged in Erfurt, Germany.

Hailed as the world’s most prestigious culinary competition, the chefs who voluntarily take part are regarded as the elite athletes of the culinary world.

The last event held in 2012 involved 54 nations and saw over 1, 600 chefs take part worldwide with Sweden taking home the gold, a huge leap from the mere four who participated in the first year of the competition.

Battling it out against 30 nations this year will be a six strong team of scots from various sectors of the Scottish hospitality industry. With additional support from a back-up team of eight, the chefs aim to showcase the best of Scottish produce - which will include Scotch Lamb PGI sponsored by Quality Meat Scotland. Handpicked by the Federation of Chefs Scotland, the team will be led by Robbie Penman along with team captain, Orry Shand, Bruce Lawrence, Darren Seggie, and Pastry Chefs Andrew Mackay and Melissa Wood.

Robbie Penman, Team Captain

29 year old Robbie, has been selected as this year’s team captain and is a chef at Peebles Hydro Hotel and Spa near the River Tweed.

Orry Shand, Team Captain

Chef, Orry Shand is the head chef at the Chester Hotel in Aberdeen. Last year Orry was awarded ‘Overall Chef of the Year’ by the North East of Scotland Chef and Restaurant Awards

Bruce Lawrence

Bruce, who currently lives in Aberdeen, works as an executive chef for Scotland’s largest independent contract catering and support services, Entier Ltd.

Darren Seggie

Darren Seggie, from Blairgowrie, is head chef at Stravaigin Glasgow. A former Blairgowrie High School pupil Darren has competed in various competitions including making it through to the regional heats in the Nestle Professional Toque D'Or last year as part of City of Glasgow College.

Andrew Mackay

Head Pastry Chef at Trump Turnberry Resort, Andrew Mackay is a former Carluke High School student and now lives in Girvan, South Ayrshire.

Melissa Wood

Melissa is a pastry chef at Andrew Fairlie Restaurant in Gleneagles. Melissa, originally from Deskford, Scotland is best known for her appearance on BBC Two’s Bake Off Crème de la Crème in spring this year. Melissa currently resides in Auchterarder working as Patisserie chef and cake designer for former Great British Bake Off contestant Marie Campbell at Marie’s Little Cake Shop.

A champion of Scotch Lamb PGI, Kevin MacGillivray is is a board member of the Federation of Chefs Scotland and believes Scotch Lamb PGI is some of the finest produce Scotland has to offer. This year the team will devise a carefully constructed menu to showcase Scotch Lamb PGI on the world stage. The menu will consist of a cold buffet course for the ‘cold kitchen’ section and they will be using scallops, langoustine and Scotch Lamb for the ‘hot kitchen’ live event.

The 2016 team were carefully selected about 18 months ago by Kevin and the Federation of Chefs Scotland based on their culinary skills and talents. With so many chefs eager to represent their country, Kevin and the Federation had their work cut out for them when it came to the selection process.

Kevin explains: “A lot of guys want to be a part of it and they try and showcase their skills and it all comes down to putting the right skills in the right areas.”

He continued: “They also have to have dedication and approval from their employer so they can take the time off as they need a lot of time off for practicing.”

With nine kitchens operating simultaneously the chefs will have their skills and nerves tested fully amid the frenzied atmosphere of the event.

To help them prepare the team have been putting in a lot of practice with monthly training sessions led by team manager, Robbie Penman. In February they competed for the first time at the ‘Battle for the Dragon' in Wales winning a silver medal. Kevin and the team hope to replicate this success when they take to the stage at Erfurt this October.  

Kevin said: “I would love to see a gold medal for the cold and hot kitchen but equally it would be great to achieve two silvers.” He added: “If we can walk away with medals of some description it will be a huge achievement from that level of competition.”

Although winning is high on Kevin and the team’s agenda, the competition is also a great way to test a chef’s level of performance and show the world their latest culinary developments.

Kevin commented: “This competition is the pinnacle for any chef - competing at this level, on the world stage and having the opportunity to showcase some of Scotland’s fantastic produce, in particular Scotch Lamb PGI which always delivers on taste and quality.”

The Scotch Beef Club, Scotch Butchers Club and Specially Selected Pork are proud to sponsor the Olympic team and wish them all the best in their exciting culinary journey.

By Michael Parker


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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th September 2016

Support Our Scottish Culinary Team as they travel to Germany to compete against some of the most talented chefs in the World