It was a battle of the Sous Chefs in the Senior School kitchen on INSET day yesterday.

As part of our catering department’s training and professional development they were divided into two teams, the White team led by Senior School Chef, Adrian Nowak, and the Blue team by Junior School Sous Chef David Johnson. Walthamstow Hall Catering Manager, Florence Kirkpatrick, set the teams the challenge of creating a menu which included in season asparagus in a starter, chicken in the main course and a cheese cake dessert, all within a tight budget.

The teams started work at 9am, left the kitchen to attend whole school safeguarding training for two hours and then served a panel of 12 judges at 1pm!

Presentation, flavour and textures of each course, use of local and seasonal ingredients, team work in the kitchen, table settings and service were all assessed by the judging panel.

The two teams rose to the challenge of showcasing their skills. Unlike, the frantic atmosphere of TV cookery competitions both teams were cool as cucumbers, calmly and efficiently preparing delicious and beautifully presented meals. The judging panel had a fantastic but difficult job on their hands choosing winners. David’s team won with their starter and cheesecake whilst Adrian’s took the prize for best main course, a chicken tagine which students will have the opportunity to enjoy on the school menu next week. A draw was declared for service and presentation making David’s team the overall winner.

Speaking after the meals, Bursar Mr Andy Horner said, “We are extremely fortunate to have such dedicated and talented catering teams at Walthamstow Hall and we really wanted to give them the chance to do something different to show case and celebrate their skills, whilst experimenting with new ideas for our daily school menus.”

Both chefs agreed that it had been a great experience, although winner David said that cooking for a smaller number in a shorter time frame was ‘more pressurised’ than cooking for the whole Junior School!

Many congratulations to both teams.

Master Chef Photo Gallery

Back to all news