We’ve been totting up the numbers and can now reveal that there was more than 150 gold and silver medals won by budding Jamie Olivers and Gordon Ramsays at this year’s Wessex Salon Culinaire, one of the UK’s largest, live culinary competitions held over two days at Brockenhurst College


Eleven of the golds were picked up in the Cold Chicken class alone, the most well attended class at the event.


Organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs, this year’s explosion of competitive demonstrations of culinary skills and techniques included a wide range of hot, cold and restaurant service classes, from Cocktail and Coffee and Marzipan Modelling to Fish Course and Guinea Fowl.


Demonstrating the changing nature of the industry, the salon also tapped into special dietary requirements with Gluten-Free and Vegan classes, and Induction as a modern cooking method.


Stephen Scuffell, organiser of the Wessex Salon Culinaire and a vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said the event had grown in stature over the years and was a fantastic platform for chefs of all levels to gain competition experience, but particularly student chefs just starting out.


“Competitions are a world away from work, and the Wessex Salon Culinaire, specifically, is a huge, adrenalin-fuelled feast of activity where fledgling chefs can cut their teeth competitively in a whole range of classes, while experiencing the thrill of performing under pressure,” he said.


“With all the practice in the world, much of it is about how it goes on the day, which is a thrill in itself, and we saw some stunning examples of this at this year’s fantastic event.”


Local businesses which supported the event included Coastline Produce (as headline sponsor), Hotel Terravina, with Gerard Basset OBE opening the show, FJB Hotels, Balmer Lawn Hotel, Chewton Glen and Badgers Holt Care Home, while national sponsors for this year included AAK, Broadland Farms Fresh Turkey, Major, Hobart, Pritchitts and Tilda.


For further information, please log onto www.craftguildofchefs.org