Chef of the Future 2011– winner announced.The Vegetarian Society’s Cordon Vert cookery school is pleased to announce the winner of the Cordon Vert Chef of the Future competition 2011. The announcement is timed to coincide with National Vegetarian Week 23-29 May 2011, sponsored by Cauldron Foods.

Jay Pindolia is the Cordon Vert Chef of the Future 2011. Jay from Edgware, Middlesex was one of five finalists who battled it out in a Masterchef style cook off. Alex Connell, Principal Tutor at the Cordon Vert cookery school and one of the judges for the Chef of the Future contest, said, “The standard of the competitors was very high this year. Each chef demonstrated they were serious about winning, making it a difficult job to pick a winner. However, Jay Pindolia’s winning menu was a clear demonstration of skill, imagination and culinary knowledge. I would be happy to order this in a restaurant time and time again. The judge’s were particularly impressed with the combination of flavours, textures and presentation.”

Jay is a student from Barnet College, Middlesex his winning competition menu was:

· Toong Tong, Som Tum and Sushi – a light spicy Thai salad with filo money bag and sushi

· Stuffed Spiced Tofu in Beer Batter on a bed of Stir Fried Vegetables with Glazed Miso Aubergine

· Lemongrass, Ginger and Kaffir Lime Leaf Baked Chocolate Cheesecake with Passion Fruit Sauce and White Chocolate Lychee.

On winning Jay said, “The competition allowed me to express my style and approach to vegetarian cooking, which has always been to ‘keep it sexy’, staying away from the dull, often bland cuisine usually offered to vegetarians. I decided on a full-flavoured set of dishes offering a variety of textures and I think I created an edgy menu which kept the tongue entertained throughout. Taking part in the competition and being able to share professional knowledge with the four other finalists was great so winning and becoming the Vegetarian Society’s ‘Chef of the Future’ was a phenomenal outcome for me. I now hope to maintain the momentum and share my passion with a network of others who hold the same vision.”

As the Cordon Vert Chef of the Future 2011, Jay receives a fully funded Cordon Vert Diploma scholarship (worth in excess of £1,500), a year’s membership to the Vegetarian Society and a personalised chef’s jacket.

The judging panel also included Jane Hughes and Eddie Shepherd. Jane Hughes is Editor of The Vegetarian magazine and Secretary of the Guild of Food Writers. She is also a Cordon Vert School tutor, teaching leisure and professional level courses. Eddie Shepherd is a professional vegetarian chef and the first ever winner of the ‘Chef of the Future’ competition. Alongside working full time in a restaurant he applies his unique, modern style of cooking and creative approach to working on recipe development and product testing, particularly in the exciting field of ‘molecular gastronomy’, and makes frequent media appearances.

The other four finalists and their menu’s were as follows:

Gary Ashley, from Yately Manor School in Eastleigh, Hants. His competition menu was:

· Smoked Tofu Deep Fried in a Hazlenut and Mustard Seed Crumb

· Red Lentil, Spinach and Coconut Curry

· a Celebration of Strawberries.

Judges comment- “Gary Ashley’s dessert ‘a celebration of strawberries’ was stunning to look at and a joy to eat!”

Colin Marshall, from Sodexo in Surrey. His competition menu was:

· Aubergine Caviar and Celeriac Bon Bon served on Green Beans, Rocket and Fennel Salad

· Goats Cheese, Pimento and Basil Strudel, set on Dauphinoise Potatoes with Green Pea puree

· Rhubarb, Ginger and Red Currant Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding. Served with Elderflower Cordial Custard

Judges comment – “Colin Marshall’s dessert of Rhubarb, ginger and red currant brioche bread and butter pudding was a great twist on this traditional pudding. Lovely comfort food!”

King Senathit, from The Larder in Barking. His competition menu was:

· Crispy Spicy Rice with Caramelized Quail Eggs

· Smoked Banana-Leaf Parcel with Tofu and Quinoa

· Purple Sticky Rice with Fresh Exotic Fruits

Judges’ comment – “King Senathit’s main course of smoked banana-leaf parcel with tofu and quinoa was not only full of flavour but also had theatre as it was served in a dome of applewood smoke.”

Raymond Thomson, from Stirling Management Centre, Dunfermline. His competition menu was:

· Marbled Roulade of Parsnip, Goats Cheese, Roast Red Pepper and Basil served with Warm Tomato Relish

· Red Rooster and Dunsyre Blue Potato Cake Lightly Spiced Ratatouille, Wilted Spinach, Plum Tomato Dressing

· Mango Glazed Coconut Mousse, Exotic Fruit Salad and Passion Fruit Sorbet

Judges comment – “Raymond Thompson’s Red Rooster and Dunsyre blue potato cake served with and Lightly spiced Ratatouille particularly caught the eye of the judges. The potato cake was crispy on the outside and on opening, delicious blue cheese oozed out! Delicious.”

The competition offers chefs the chance to show their potential in this exciting culinary field. To become the Cordon Vert Chef of the Future entrants complete two stages. First they must create a three course menu which is suitable for vegetarians, then finalists are expected to produce their full meal at a live cook off at the Vegetarian Society headquarters in Cheshire. The contest was open to vegetarian and non-vegetarian chefs alike.

This is the third year that the Vegetarian Society has held the Cordon Vert Chef of the Future competition. The Cordon Vert School has an unrivalled reputation for excellent and innovative vegetarian cuisine drawing on a variety of international flavours and ingredients reflecting current trends in world cuisine with fresh and imaginative ideas. For more information on professional courses visit http://www.cordonvert.co.uk

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