The programme for Hotelympia International Salon Culinaire - the world’s premier culinary competition and one of the major attractions at Hotelympia – has been updated for 2014 following input from a think tank of leading chefs.

Next year’s event will feature a refreshed schedule in response to feedback from a dedicated chef panel – many of which are ex-Salon competitors – including Chris Galvin, Steve Munkley, Simon Hulstone, Cyrus Todiwala, Nick Vadis and new Salon Culinaire Chef Director, James Tanner.

The think tank was set up to involve chefs – the lifeblood of the competition – in key decisions at every turn, ensuring that Salon Culinaire remains as relevant as ever. The professional chef community has also been polled by Salon, in a UK-wide survey which set the agenda for the think tank’s discussions.

Improvements include: a new online entry system, a clearer judging process, use of iPads for food photography to enable fuller and more constructive critique and the introduction of a feedback corner where established judges will be on hand to offer guidance to competitors on how to improve future performances.

There will now also be two award ceremonies throughout each day – one just after lunchtime as well as the traditional one held at the end of the day – both will now be staged in a brand new, dedicated area.

Salon Culinaire Chef Director, James Tanner, said: “We’ve spoken to the chef fraternity and come up with a clear strategy to enhance our offering, within the three core elements that make Salon so unmissable – Live Theatre, La Parade des Chefs and Salon Display. The new programme has been designed to make the competing experience simpler, while the proposed changes should make it even easier to enter and gain valuable feedback for future endeavours. Crucially, in 2014, we have sought to implement changes to the competition to mirror real life challenges in the kitchen.”

Live Theatre:

Live Theatre sees several new classes added to its 2014 programme including:

  • The Association of Pastry Chefs’ Dessert of the Year, Food Styling on a Plate sponsored by Steelite International and Faster Pasta (two 20-minute race-against-the-clock classes open to both junior and senior chefs) sponsored by CCS
  • Teamwork in the kitchen sponsored by Essential Cuisine
  • Molecular Gastronomy Skills Test created by Craft Guild of Chefs and sponsored by Infusions4Chefs
  • Pro/Junior Joint Class sponsored by Gram UK
  • Designer Desserts sponsored by Gourmet Classic

Most existing classes have also benefited from some enhancements, for example a World cuisine dish has been added into the Tilda Chef of the Year competition. These developments will ensure Live Theatre provides a stimulating experience for competitors and visitors alike. All Live Theatre equipment is supplied by Falcon and Williams, respectively.  

Salon Display:
Exhibits will have a prime location in the central aisle along the entire hall and there will also be a new class, Entrance Sugarcraft Showpiece, inviting displays of up to 1m high. These will be positioned outside the entrance to Hotelympia – delivering a real ‘wow factor’ to visitors as they arrive. Salon Display is sponsored by Compass Group UK.

La Parade des Chefs:

The fine dining challenge will once again deliver a three-course lunch to 100 diners with competing teams challenged to create and deliver an exceptional menu at the event’s showpiece restaurant. The lunch price will be £35 per person and teams will be asked to demonstrate how the ingredients will produce a gross profit of 68%. La Parade kitchens are supplied by Hobart Cooking Solutions and MKN.

Salon Culinaire is now accepting entries into classes and a full copy of the competition schedule can be viewed on together with rules, judging criteria and an entry form. The deadline for entries to La Parade des Chefs is 15th January 2014, and for Live Theatre and Salon Display 1st February 2014.

James added: “Next year’s programme offers something that will appeal to everybody seeking an opportunity to pitch their skills against other talented chefs. Having experienced the thrill of competition first-hand, I can vouch for how much you take away – I urge chefs, hungry for the opportunity to shine, to get in contact today.”


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