West London College was delighted to host the League of Clubs Chefs Town & Country Fine Foods Pastry Challenge Cup on Friday 26 May 2023. The chefs taking part in the prestigious competition work at a range of exclusive clubs, inns & livery halls, including The Garrick Club, The RAF Club, Boodles, Buck’s and White’s. There was all to play for with a wonderful first prize from the League’s sponsors Town & Country Fine Foods and Felchlin. As well as the coveted Challenge Cup, the first prize included an all-expenses paid trip to a Felchlin chocolate workshop in Condirama, Switzerland with £150 to spend.
Jerome Dreux, Sales and Development Chef with Town & Country Fine Foods announced the winners at the end of their four-hour rigorous challenge.
Mia Tang who works at Boodles came first, runners up were Lorna Songhurst from White’s in second place, and Fern Lawrence from The Garrick Club in third place. Laural Taylor from the RAF Club and Alessandro Molica from Bucks were both finalists. The competition required preparing a classic Apple Charlotte and a dessert of choice using Felchlin chocolate.
The chefs were judged on taste (40%), technical skills (30%), presentation (15%) and hygiene practices (15%). Second prize was a £200 equipment voucher and afternoon tea for two at Cedric Grolet at the Berkeley Hotel. Third prize was a £100 equipment voucher and a day at the Town & Country Fine Foods Innovation Centre.
As to why Mia won, Chef Jerome explained: “Her dessert showed a lot of skills with some delightful chocolate tempering, was just the right size and would have been a perfect dish to serve in any setting.”
Michael Dutnall is Head Chef at the RAF Club and Chair of the League of Pastry Chefs helped to organise the competition. Chef Michael said: “The level of skill improves each year in the League of Clubs Chefs Town & Country Pastry Challenge Cup and this year was no exception.”
Denise Charles, Head of Service Industries at West London College said: “West London College was delighted to be able to support the League of Clubs Chefs Town & Country Pastry Challenge Cup as competitions help to raise standards, skills and knowledge sharing throughout our industry.”
The full list of judges taking part in the Challenge included Jerome Dreux, Michael Dutnall, Ernst Bachmann, Martin Powell, Don Irwin, Stephen Reid and Matthew Marshall.