The first winners of the Cordon Vert Vegetarian Chef of the Future award have been announced as The Lanesborough Hotel chef Barry Tonkinson (pictured left), and Eddie Shepherd from Mono in Glasgow.
The chefs were crowned joint winners of the competition after demonstrating the creativity and skill needed in vegetarian cooking, at a live cook-off at the Vegetarian Society’s Cordon Vert School in Cheshire.
Tonkinson created a three-course menu of Courgette flower ‘fritti’ with goat’s cheese pesto, caponata and carpaccio, Thai inspired aubergine and butternut curry with lychee & beet-jasmine rice, and Ivoire of vanilla seed pannacotta with poached rhubarb, red and black jelly, and sugar sticks.
Shepherd’s menu consisted of Herbed goat’s cheese with blood orange and a balsamic reduction, served with lightly toasted fine slices of baguette, Halloumi, new potato and spring onion rosti topped with pan-fried garlic, herb and white wine mushrooms served on a bed of fresh spinach and toasted pine nuts, and Spiced plum & strawberry individual crumbles, dusted with cinnamon and served with a dark chocolate and ginger sauce.
Katie Douglass, catering services manager at the Vegetarian Society, said: ”The Chef of the Future contest set out to find the chefs with talent, promise, creativity and new ideas. The winning chefs in the final cook off certainly had that, it was really exciting to watch them in the kitchen and even better to taste their creations.”
Tonkinson and Shepherd both received a personalised chefs jacket, a years membership to the Vegetarian Society, a vegetarian hamper of products, and a scholarship for a Cordon Vert Diploma, worth £1.5k.
Peter Walters from Keele University and Mark Stott of the Ginger Vegetarian Cafe in Halifax also received a Highly Commended award and runners up award respectively.