Aryzta competiton gives young chefs chance to create dish for foodservice

Aryzta Food Solutions UK’s Chefs at Play competition returns this spring, offering young chefs aged 18-23 the tantalising opportunity to put their name to a signature product created specifically for the UK foodservice market.

Working and aspiring chefs are now invited to submit a recipe for an innovative new ‘sweet on-the-go’ creation. Chefs have one of five base products – sourced from Aryzta Food Solutions UK’s semi-prepared range, including laminated dough sheets and sweet tartelette cases – from which to build their recipe.

They will also be called upon to justify why it is right to go into full scale production. New for 2018, chefs will also have their pick of 10 stunning garnish products from Aryzta sub-brand Bouquet Garni to add a final flourish.

Four finalists will be chosen to bring their entries to life in a live cook off at Aryzta Food Solutions UK’s headquarters in London’s Covent Garden in May. From there, one winner will be chosen and their creation seen for the very first time on Aryzta Food Solutions UK’s stand at June’s Taste of London festival.

The winning chef will also be in attendance and get to work alongside the company’s Chef Ambassador and head Chefs at Play judge, James Tanner (pictured right).

Joining Tanner on the judging panel will be 2017 winner Wendy Lo (pictured left), former student and protégée of ‘Masterchef: The Professionals’ winner, and City of Glasgow College chef lecturer, Gary MacLean.

Lo wowed judges with her stunning ‘Taste of Spring’ – a sweet tartelette case, filled with honey blossom mousse, topped with elderflower and strawberry jelly and lemon curd, garnished with fresh strawberries, blueberries and pistachio nuts. The signature creation is set to be launched nationally by Aryzta this spring.

Lo has now graduated and is currently working full time as a demi pastry chef at Glasgow’s luxury Dakota Hotel. She credits the competition with helping her progress in the industry, with her new employers offering continuous support and encouragement to keep improving.

Lo commented, “I’m really excited to return to this competition, and to jump the fence from competitor to judge, joining James, is a real honour. My advice to young chefs thinking about the product they want to create is; have fun with it, choose something you enjoy eating yourself and think long and hard about seasonality – how it will affect the decisions you make.

“Working with James and the Aryzta chefs at Taste of London was simply amazing – it was a really fantastic experience from start to finish, I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Aryzta UK’s Head of Marketing, Paul Whitely said of the launch, “Last year’s standard was very high and with the addition of the Bouquet Garni products, we’re very excited to see what recipes budding young chefs can come up with.

“Food-to-Go is showing no sign of slowing down with the market set to reach a value of £20.7bn* this year, so the competition is definitely addressing a category with huge potential.”