The hotly contested title of Game to Eat Student Chef of the Year 2014 has been won by Iwona Czerniak of Bournville College, Birmingham. Iwona, who moved to Birmingham from Poland three years ago, wowed the judges with her trio of partridge served with figs, mini blue cheese croquette, partridge jus and salad. Chairman of the judges and Game-to-Eat consultant chef Lee Maycock said: “Iwona’s dish was cooked perfectly and the seasoning was faultless. Her presentation was also spot on but this competition is all about taste and this was delicious.”
Eight young chefs took part in the third annual Game-to-Eat Student Chef of the Year Competition, on 26 March at the University of West London in Ealing.
Joining Lee on the judging panel were two of the game world’s top chefs – Brett Graham, who runs The Ledbury in Notting Hill and Mike Robinson, who is head chef at the Pot Kiln in Yattendon, Berks. The pair also run London’s rural oasis, the Harwood Arms in Fulham.
Mike, who provided the game birds for the competition through his Harwood Game Company, said: “The students produced a real array of foods and showed great talent for the future. I would not be surprised if we heard a lot more about some of these young chefs.” And Brett added: “The standard of cooking was very high and the food produced was delicious. It was great to see game presented in new and innovative ways.”
Iwona wins £250 of vouchers for cookery equipment and a week’s work placement at The Ledbury. She said: “I love working with game and I think today my dish went the best it ever has. I am very excited to get the chance to work with Brett.”
Second place in the competition went to Stephanie Chou, of Bedford College, who cooked pheasant breast with Chinese pancake and pheasant crispy dumplings, and third prize to Stephen Lucas of Mid-Kent College, who pan-fried his pigeon breast, accompanying it with a pigeon leg Scotch egg, black pudding, wild mushrooms, apple puree and cinnamon and blackberry jus.