Bien Causapin from Colchester Institute was crowned Kraft Food’s national Philadelphia Young Chef of the Year 2012 at Westminster Kingsway College on May 11.
He faced stiff competition from his fellow finalists but his winning dish of pan fried hake with mussels in Philadelphia sauce with char grilled red pepper and cheesy potato croquettes won over the judges.
The judges said that his recipe had many flavours and textures and he was praised for using lots of good technical skills.
Kraft Foods teamed with the Craft Guild of Chefs, City & Guilds, chef consultant Sophie Wright, 3663 Catering Equipment and the Cheese Cellar to develop the competition aimed at stretching student chefs and rewarding the most promising ones to help them further their career ambitions.
Open to all trainee chefs in full time education between the ages of 17-23, the task is to create a starter or a main course using Philadelphia cream cheese for four covers that would take no longer than one hour to prepare. They were also asked to provide a nutritional breakdown of their dishes.
Causapin’s prize included a cash prize of £500, while runners up William Breese from Westminster Kingsway College, Shaun Reast from the Grimsby Institute and Joshua Reynolds from Worcester College of Technology each received £200.
All the finalists received a Philadelphia apron, the opportunity to see their recipes published online, and 12 months free membership to the Craft Guild of Chefs. In addition, each student had entered their college into a prize draw to win £500 worth of 3663 catering equipment vouchers and the lucky winner was Worcester College of Technology.
The judges included Sophie Wright, Craft Guild vice chairman Christopher Basten, Stockpot editor Sheila Eggleston and 3663 Catering Equipment managing director Paul Knight.
All were impressed by the very high standards on show and Wright said it was great to see so many technical skills being used and creative presentations, as well as exceptionally clean and tidy work stations.