With our one simple aim to prepare and serve the best wedding food in the country, we held a team competition to appoint our Galloping Gourmet Master Chef Team.
Held at the stunning Clock Barn in Hampshire we all enjoyed a truly inspirational back-drop for the much-anticipated cook-off.
With six teams in the running the tension was high on the first day of the competition. After an early morning start, lots of coffee and a welcome from Simon our Managing Director, Andy our Executive Group Head Chef unveiled the secret box of ‘Mystery Ingredients’ to our teams.
The seasonal products included wild pigeon, oysters, clams, scallops and Iberico Salchichon sausage, plus a full pantry of fresh fruits, vegetables and dry ingredients. More than enough with which to create something brilliant!
Our excited contenders then had fifteen minutes to design and write a three-course wedding menu to be presented to the judging panel… made up of fellow (hungry) Galloping Gourmet team members.
Having planned their perfect menus, it left our talented bunch with only two hours to cook and serve their dishes, meaning the pressure was definitely on – much like a wedding day itself!
With both Andy and Adrian our Group Development Chef keeping a watchful eye on the modern cooking techniques employed by the talent, the atmosphere in the kitchen was friendly but highly-charged! Pride was at stake, plus a big silver cup!
Finishing touches skilfully applied, the dishes were whisked over to the judges for scoring. Marks were awarded for creativity, originality and presentation, as well as taste.
Presented with an array of fantastic courses this was a tough, but very enjoyable job. Highlights included a starter of tempura oyster with seared scallops and clam emulsion. Mains of seared pigeon breast with Iberico pithivier and fondant celeriac; as well as one featuring fresh Chanterelle mushrooms.
For dessert, options of baked apple with a stem ginger crumb and blueberry frangipane tart with Crème Anglaise meant there was nothing left on the plates!
Following the competition our Chefs waited two long weeks for the much- anticipated results to be announced at the Annual GG Chefs’ Lunch at Tom’s Kitchen – Chelsea. It was a close call, with the teams based at Clock Barn and Gaynes Park attaining 3rd and 2nd place respectively, however the coveted top spot was awarded to the Galloping Gourmet team at Morden Hall. Their winning menu of poached scallops with clam broth and chive oil, seared pigeon breast and confit leg served on a pearl barley risotto; plus chocolate shard with white chocolate mousse, dark chocolate and whiskey creamosa was not only visually stunning, but a treat to taste and awarded full marks.
To see more of the dishes and our Chefs in action watch our video of the competition below.