With renewed interest in the art of baking across Britain, this year’s Winnie Myers Traditional Afternoon Tea challenge from the Craft Guild of Chefs is expected to be sweeter than ever.
The Guild’s London Division now want to hear from student and working chefs and waiters who will be aged 25 or under on August 1st and think they can rustle up the best teatime spread.
And, on top of this, the competition now also includes the opportunity for amateur bakers to rise to the occasion in an open cake challenge in honour of the late patissier Artur Voggenberger, who worked at the Queen’s royal-appointed bakery, Madame Floris in Soho.
The Winnie Myers Traditional Afternoon Tea challenge, named after the late Craft Guild member and former head chef at the House of Lords, is split into two categories; student chef and student waiter and industry chef and industry waiter.
The spread must comprise four traditional finger sandwiches (cucumber, smoked salmon, egg and cress, plus one of their own choice), a sweet or savoury pastry (pastry can be made in advance), a sweet or savoury choux pastry, a sweet scone and two cakes of their own choice.
Set to take place at Westminster Kingsway College in October, chefs have two hours to prepare three covers of afternoon tea, while the waiters in each dynamic duo have one hour to set up the spread with an interview by a front of house judging panel.
One hour will be allowed for service, with two covers served at the table and one displayed and tasted by the judges. The college will supply two square tables (one in the restaurant area and one in the judging area), two white cloths to cover tables and a station per competitor, but all ingredients, front of house equipment and linen must be supplied by the competitor.
Last year’s Winnie Myers challenge was won by Jack Cordery and Sarah Collis from Westminster Kingsway College in the student chef and student waiter category, with Eran Shina and Imran Khan from The Savoy winning the industry chef and industry waiter category.
With TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off prompting a revival of the art of baking, the Artur Voggenberger open cake challenge, launched last year, is open to amateur bakers of all ages, who are challenged with producing one large cake or six mini cakes with recipes.
As testament to his reputation, Artur’s accomplishments included making a cake for Winston Churchill, iced with the words, ‘I am not to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire!’.
Later, while working at Fortnum and Mason’s, he baked for state dinners at Buckingham Palace and made Prince Charles a birthday cake when he was a child. After leaving Fortnum and Mason’s, he started a new career at Lewisham College.
Last year’s Artur Voggenberger open cake winner was Emma Symonds from West Anglia College, who created a raspberry layer cake decorated with an intricate floral design.
For further information on entering either the Winnie Myers Traditional Afternoon Tea challenge or the Artur Voggenberger open cake competition, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.craftguildofchefs.org