Aramark's European Chef's Cup 2017 was held in Croke Park park last Thursday, bringing together some of the best culinary talent on the continent to whip up the finest dishes possible.
The event kicked off at 7.30am in the iconic Hogan Suite where six European Chef of the Year winners were pitted against each other and tasked with creating a three-course menu, individually plated for four people, from a pre-selected food basket of European and Irish ingredients.
The participants were given four hours to then complete that task.
This year's contestants were from Ireland, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic. Ireland's representative was Farid Derradji, a Algeria-native now living in Ongar, West Dublin.
Here was Farid's sumptuous three-course meal: to start was Mackerel, Fennel, Lime & Caraway Puree, Prawn Pakora, Roast Cucumber; to follow was Honeyed Guinea Fowl, Cranberry Ballontine, Red Cabbage with Horseradish, Wild Mushrooms, Red Wine & Cranberry Jus; and to finish was Lemon Posset, Hazelnuts, Lime & Fine Biscuit, Raspberry & Meringue.
Farid is an executive chef for Aramark, who also hosted this year's European Chef's Cup, a customer service business across facilities, uniforms, and food, producing 250,000 meals each day in Ireland.
Aramark Culinary Director, Derek Reilly, said,
"Competitions like this give our chefs an opportunity to demonstrate their passion for food. We were absolutely delighted with all the extremely high standard of all the dishes — it certainly didn’t make the decision to crown the winner easy for the judges!"
The judging panel was made of up of Michelin star chef Ross Lewis from Chapter 1, Leylie Hayes, Head Chef from Avoca and Hugo Arnold, Food Entrepreneur who were looking for the greatest level of skill and artistry in the participants' dishes.
The winner of the Aramark's European Chef’s Cup 2017 was the UK contestant, Jonathan Keller.
Take a look at Keller's winning meal — which wouldn't look out of place in a Michelin-starred restaurant — below.
Starter: Charred Mackerel Sashimi, Parsley & Mustard Emulsion, Lime Crème Fraiche
Main: Roast Guinea Fowl, Caramelised Shallot Puree, Butter Beans & Leek Hay
Dessert: Raspberry And Frozen Yoghurt Delice, Italian Meringue & Candied Crumb
Commenting on the win, MD of Aramark Northern Europe Frank Gleeson said,
"Congratulations to Jonathan on his well-deserved win. The level of dedication to refining skills, dishes and practises to perform well at these competitions is incredible. The standard this year was truly world-class and every competitor should feel extremely proud of themselves. It really shows that we have so much talent in the Aramark business!"