Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, is celebrating after scooping an impressive seven silver and four bronze medals at the Culinary World Cup – EXPOGAST 2018, which is celebrated as a pioneering event of international gastronomy and culinary refinement for food professionals.
The event saw Compass Group UK & Ireland placed fifth overall in the world, the highest ranking foodservice provider, which is testament not only to the breadth of talent within the business, but demonstrates what can be achieved with team collaboration as each chef supported each other, helping Compass to cook up a winning recipe.
EXPOGAST is an intense, five-day event that brings together chefs from around the globe including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, USA, Canada and the UK. Well over 1,500 professional chefs competed in Luxembourg at the event, which is staged every four years. Held between 24-28 November, this global culinary contest saw entries from 30 national teams and 15 junior national teams, with an overall total of 36 countries entering regional teams. This was in addition to 108 entries in the Culinary Arts Individual Programme.
The overall highlight is to combine the pure theatre, drama and entertainment that such an event brings, whilst witnessing the cream of global talent pay honour to their industry through their outstanding culinary art.
Competing were the English National Team made up of 10 chefs, coached under the leadership of Nick Vadis, Culinary Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, who himself, has participated in an impressive previous six Culinary World Cups. As well as two Compass chefs, the England team also included chefs from other food service and hospitality businesses and together, came away with an impressive 12 silver medals between them – a fantastic result!
The Compass Regional Team comprised five chefs with three support chefs, and were captained by Graham Singer, Culinary Director for Compass Scotland. The overriding emphasis was one of total collaboration, with every chef playing their part in supporting their fellow colleagues.
During the course of the competition, the National Teams took part in two fiercely fought disciplines; a 110-cover hot kitchen and a cold kitchen buffet. The Regional Team who competed on the cold kitchen buffet focused on their chosen food theme of the Carnival – vibrant, colourful and celebratory!
The second element was a cold presentation buffet where both teams, along with the individual entry chefs, competed creating a range of dishes across a variety of categories. These mouth-wateringly included a variety of starter plates, tapas finger food, petit fours, a show platter and a stunning focal centrepiece constructed of intricate sugar work under the guidance of James Mullen, Compass Offshore & Remote, Pastry Chef.
Entries were judged by an esteemed panel of chefs from the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), before being opened up an enthusiastic public audience to enjoy, once the overall competition judging was complete.
Nick Vadis, Culinary Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “I am extremely proud of all our chefs who either supported, or competed, in the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg. To have chefs competing as individuals, plus a regional team and also the National Team England, is a credit to our business and the investment in nurturing the talent we have within the UK. They are all true ambassadors for their craft, and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their commitment, skill and dedication.”
Graham Singer, Culinary Director for Compass Scotland, added: “The strength and success of the Compass Culinary team at the prestigious EXPOGAST 2018 came from each and every one within the team. The shared passion, drive and commitment each gave over the whole five days was truly amazing. As individuals we can achieve but together we can achieve so much more. Everyone played their part in securing such an incredible result. I am extremely proud of what each and every one of the Compass culinary team achieved”.