RAF Coningsby Chefs Enter National Catering Competition

16 March 2016

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Hotelympia 2016 is the UK’s largest foodservice and hospitality event and the most important for any professional wanting to gain access to the latest products and thinking.

Caterers Prepare for Hotelympia Competition

Visitors go to the event in their droves, the show this year attracted 26,000 attendees, over the four day run.

Chefs from RAF Coningsby have entered the competition and have been rehearsing their two elements in preparation for the national challenge.

Senior Aircraftman Danny McKnight, from the Officers Mess entered the “Contemporary Freestyle Dessert”, with his fantastic pudding.

The dish included a dark chocolate fondant with a white chocolate, clotted cream and vanilla ice cream. It was finished with a pistachio and raspberry crumb, with pistachio sugar.


Danny had been rehearsing the dish to make sure his timings and details were second perfect. He said,

“I really love it, especially when it turns out exactly how you want it to! I’m usually on the main meal service so to do something like this is brilliant! I’m looking forward to competing with my civilian counterparts and seeing how we measure up against their skills levels.”

Corporal Jess Edwards, who has worked in the Officers Mess, entered the “Cocktail Mixology” category with 2 of her best entries, Kentucky Mule, which comprised of bourbon, ginger and lime. Also, she had made Hedgerow Sling, which included Gin, Sloe Gin, Elderflower and Cloudy apple juice.

Jess said,

“I used to do competitions all the time, but it’s been a while now. I’m just going to do my best and give it a go! It’s great to see my colleagues trying my cocktails, they said they really enjoyed them so that’s good for me!”

Catering personnel from Royal Air Force (RAF) Coningsby

Sergeant Bradder, who manages the Team said,

“Competitions in our trade are really good to use to build confidence, keep up to date with mainstream methods and to increase our skill sets. We’ve been really lucky to train and work with Colin McGurran and his team at Winteringham Fields to learn new skills and techniques. It has been an amazing experience to be part of such a high class dining experience.”

After the judging at Hotelympia, Jess was awarded a Silver Medal – a terrific result and Danny a Certificate of Merit, which is also an excellent result given the exacting standards that the judges work off and the fact that this was Danny’s first taste of a National Event.

Editor: Yvonne Masters

Photographs: SAC Megan Woodhouse

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