(Out of Hours)


(Out of Hours)


Cook Off Champions – Team Apple

Written on 11-Jan-2017

During last year’s Chefs Conference oncjuk_conf_101 Tuesday 19th January 2016, we held a competition in which 30 of our Interim Chefs competed against each other in a Master Chef-style cook-off.

Our Chefs were split into teams of 4 or 5 and were each given a mystery box of ingredients. The teams then firstly had to design a menu with both a starter and main course and were then given an hour to cook the dishes and present them.

Once the dishes were completed and presented, they were then judged by our keynote speaker, John Benson-Smith, Principal of Accrington & Rossendale College, Sue Taylor and Head of Catering at Accrington & Rossendale College, Lee Hyatt.

The competition was a good way for our Interim Chefs to bond and a great opportunity for the Chefs to see how each Chef works within a kitchen.

Of course, when the judging commenced it all went very serious and tense. Once the judging was complete, John Benson-Smith then quizzed the Chefs on their technique and teamwork, allowing the Chef an insight into each dish.

Below is the winning teams, Team Apple’s Dish.

Dill, Coriander & Lemon Mackerel Fillet on Herbed Risotto


  • 4oz Arborio rice
  • 1-pint vegetable stock
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Chopped dill
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juicecjuk_conf_050
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon zest
  • 4oz butter
  • Softened & chopped coriander
  • 2oz grated parmesan
  • Chopped Chilli
  • Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • Ginger
  • Lime Juice


For the dressing; Mix together olive oil, honey, ginger and lime juice.

cjuk_conf_125In a frying pan gently sauté the shallots, lemon zest and garlic. After a few minutes add the Arborio Rice to the pan and begin to slowly add the vegetable stock, keep stirring continuously until the rice begins to absorb the stock.

Whilst the rice is simmering, begin to prepare the mackerel and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Your Arborio rice should now be risotto, finish this by adding the chopped coriander, half a chilli, dill and the grated parmesan.

Now your risotto is complete, add the mackerel to a hot pan skin side down and sear for about 2 minutes or until skin is crispy. Then turn over and cook the other side of the mackerel for a further minute or 2.

Once complete, place the risotto in the middle of the plate and place the mackerel fillets on top with a light drizzling of the dressing and serve immediately.