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B&FC students battle to win cook-off in front of Michelin starred judges

Published on 23/05/2022 by ECOOK

General news

International Wine and Food Society (IWFS) promotes the humble black pudding to gastronomic star ingredient status.

Local catering students Lewis Chesworth and Charlotte Farmer are representing Blackpool and The Fylde College in the final of the first ever black pudding competition for catering colleges. It is taking place at Warrington Vale Royal college on 25th May.

The IWFS competition is designed to introduce students to the culinary potential and flexibility of black pudding, elevating it from the breakfast plate to the gourmet dinner table.  At heats at 6 catering colleges across the north of England this spring, students were asked to create a recipe for a starter or main course using black pudding as the key ingredient.  

Jordan Kehoe, Chef Lecturer at B&FC has high praise for his learners, “Lewis is a model student whose creative flair shines through in his dishes, while Charlottes dedication to the competition, practising in her own time and always striving to be the best, means they are both more than deserving of a win. We are extremely proud of them both.”

Organised by IWFS Northern branches, and sponsored by The Bury Black Pudding Company, the competition judges include two northern Michelin starred chefs, Andrew Pern (Star at Harome) and Paul Heathcote (Heathcotes, Longridge) together with three other top chefs Stephanie Moon, Aiden Byrne and Eugene McCoy.

The winners will be announced at a formal ceremony at Bolton College on June 28th and awards will be presented to the top 3 winners from the entrants from the six colleges.

Tim Gittins from the IWFS explains the Society’s reasons for introducing the competition. “At the core of the IWFS philosophy is the promotion and celebration of great food and great ideas. We wanted to spotlight an under-recognised part of our national cuisine so we put together a unique collaboration of leading Northern catering colleges, chefs and industry suppliers. Fundamentally, the competition offers a chance to students to work with amazing ingredients and have inspiration and guidance from professionals who share the enjoyment of creating unique food experiences.”

Chef Andrew Pern is passionate about the product, “I have been asked to judge many competitions in the past - pasta, risotto for example - but this is totally different.

“It’s an amazing ingredient to use, it's made my name. Black pudding and foie gras has been my signature dish at the Michelin starred Star Inn in for 25 years.

“What a brilliant idea to spread the gospel around the students at catering colleges. It's up to us to elevate Black Pudding higher in people’s perceptions – there are so many ways it can be utilised, and we need to bring the nay-sayers round to our way of thinking.”

Matthew McDermid from Bury Black Pudding says, “Witnessing the students creating these dazzling dishes illustrates just how black pudding can be used as an ingredient, the students are researching and looking at other creative ways that black pudding can be utilised which is impressive.

“Part of our marketing strategy is to educate consumers about black pudding and how versatile it is, to sponsor the competition and network with the students, staff, chefs and IWFS plays a key role to that.”

“Congratulations to the students at B&FC and to the other five colleges who are also taking part. Good luck and we will see you all in the final at Warrington & Vale College.”