The hotly contested title of Game to Eat Student Chef of the Year 2015 has been won by Jack Gates, from North Hertfordshire College.
Jack wowed the judges with his whole roasted partridge accompanied by beetroot three ways, a mushroom duxelle, pickled wild mushrooms, red vein sorrel and a red wine jus.
Chairman of the judging panel and Game to Eat consultant chef Lee Maycock said: “Jack’s dish was perfectly executed and the seasoning was faultless. The partridge was cooked to perfection and under the time restrictions he truly excelled.”
Twelve young chefs took part in this, the fourth annual Game to Eat Student Chef of the Year Competition, on 27 October at Westminster Kingsway College, London.
Joining Lee on the judging panel was top game chef and owner of Café Spice Namaste, Cyrus Todiwala, and last year’s winner, Iwona Czerniak.
Jack Knott, of the Game to Eat campaign, said: “This year’s competition was fierce, we had more nominations than ever before and the standard of the 12 finalists was phenomenal. It really was anyone’s competition. It is very good news for the future that these young chefs have such mastery of game cookery.”
Jack Gates wins £250 of vouchers for cookery equipment, a week’s work placement at The Ledbury and an engraved Flint and Flame knife. He said: “Although I am relatively new with game I spent last week perfecting the timings of the partridge and I do not think the dish could have gone better today. I am very excited to get the chance to work at The Ledbury.”
Second place in the competition went to Alevandre Reynolds, from the University of West London, who cooked partridge with salisfy, chanterelles and filled pommes Anna, and third prize to Michael Farr, also from the University of West London, who cooked a seared breast of pheasant with pheasant lollipop and celeriac puree with a red wine sauce.