What is ACE?
The Association of Catering Excellence is a lively, innovative organisation that encourages caterers and associates from all sectors of our industry to network face to face, exchange ideas, socialise and generally keep in touch. The technology age combined with our hectic work schedules has led to our reliance on emails and texts to keep in touch. We bring the fun back into communication through a series of superb events. Our membership includes a cross section of managers, chefs, consultants, students, suppliers etc. from the Hospitality and Food Service Sector.
We provide a forum for networking for all levels of staff within the catering industry through a series of informal and fun related events.
18th September 2014
Judges are once again impressed at the innovation and creativity under pressure at ACE's Ready Steady Cook
The Association of Catering Excellence held its annual Ready Steady Cook Challenge at Imperial College, London on Wednesday 17th September, with 15 pairs of chefs taking part.
The teams from the foodservice sector had 30 minutes from when the mystery ingredients were revealed to prepare a menu. They could choose from megrim sole, belly pork, chorizo sausage, butternut squash, blackberries, apples, plus a selection of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and store cupboard ingredients. They then had 30 minutes in front of a live audience of over 150 supporters to create and present their dishes.
Judge Sara Jayne Stanes OBE, Academy of Culinary Arts observed:
“The colours, flavours and textures each team put together using the same core ingredients are completely different. It's fantastic to see such innovative dishes, produced in such a short time.”
The overall winners were Mark Aust and Richard Skinner from Artizian who have entered the competition three times. They have moved from third place in 2012, to second in 2013, and finally succeeded in 2014. As well as their trophies, chefs jackets and champagne, they won lunch for themselves and their partners at The Fat Duck where they will be treated to a ‘behind the scenes’ tour, courtesy of sponsors McFarlane Telfer. Richard said about their win:
“We've learned not to panic, and to work with the equipment. The key is team work, and we communicated well throughout. We found it best to help each other, rather than working on separate dishes.”
Judge Geoff Booth, Head of Hospitality at Westminster Kingsway College said:
“The standard improves year on year. We saw intensity tonight – lots of passion. Some chefs got it completely right and rocked!”
Fellow judge, Simon Boyle, Founder of Beyond Food Foundation added:
“They're working in difficult circumstances – 30 minutes is no time at all. I'm massively impressed. It's a joy to see so much talent in the foodservice industry.”
The winning menu was:
In second place were Adam Thomason and Andrew Bunting from Restaurant Associates with a menu of orange glazed megrim, cumin & garlic butternut squash, caramelised banana shallot & brown butter with ‘Apple & Blackberry Crumble’ (salt caramel Bramley apple, black pepper meringue, vanilla pickled blackberry & toasted oats).
Nikki Low and Paul Matthews from Vacherin took third place with pan fried sole, cauliflower cous cous, seared radicchio, butternut squash, ginger butter sauce and a dessert of dark chocolate cremeux, apple, blackberry & lemon.
The other teams were from ABsolutely, Aspire, Lexington, Baxterstorey, Blue Apple, Brookwood Partnership, Catermasters, CH&Co, Elior, Holroyd Howe, ISS Food & Hospitality and Sodexo Prestige.
ACE's sponsored charity is Beyond Food Foundation which was set up to inspire homeless people, motivate them and train them to become chefs. Brigade Bar and Bistro in Tooley Street, London is a unique social enterprise that has employed 70 of them. It is led by Chef Founder (and Ready Steady Cook judge) Simon Boyle.
Nisbetts provided the pans and chopping boards for the event – these have been donated to Beyond Food Foundation.
All unused food items were donated to The Passage, a homeless charity in Victoria
– Ends –
The Ready Steady Cook event is kindly sponsored by Peros.
Established in 2000, Peros offers a comprehensive range of over 350 Fairtrade, Organic and ethically traded products, available across the UK on next day delivery. www.peros.co.uk
The 8 induction hobs used at the event are provided by Induced Energy www.inducedenergy.com
The prize of a tour and lunch at The Fat Duck is supplied by McFarlane Telfer who provide maintenance services to commercial kitchens www.mcft.com
ACE's sponsored charity, Beyond Food Foundation
About the Association of Catering Excellence (ACE)
The aim of ACE is to get staff at all levels within the catering industry networking and having fun together. Chair, Jeni Edwards says “We challenge each other, compete against each other, and most importantly chat to each other.”
The membership includes a cross section of managers, chefs, consultants, students and suppliers from the Hospitality and Food Service Sector.
Throughout the year, ACE runs a series of innovative and stimulating networking events to provide relationship building opportunities for professionals in the catering industry.
Further information on joining ACE is available on the website – www.acegb.org
For further information, contact Jane Brocklebank on 01628 675584 or 07968 323177
How do I join the ACE?
Either fill in the application form on the ‘Become a Member’ page, or contact our Administration Office at Bourne House, and they will send you the appropriate application form. This will then be processed, and you will receive confirmation of your membership within a few days.
What events do ACE organise?
Our voluntary council members with the support of our fantastic sponsors work hard to organise four fun events. the ACE Quiz Night, the ACE Summer Event, ‘Ready Steady Cook’ and the Wine Tasting Dinner. All of the events usually take place in central London at stunning venues.
How can I get involved in the Council?
Help is always welcome on the committee, either for one off events or as a regular member – simply speak to one of the existing committee members whose details are on the ‘Council Members & Patrons’ page and they will be able to tell how you can get involved.
Why Join ACE?
- ACE is a great opportunity to meet people and create closer links from all sectors of the industry.
- We raise the profile and create an awareness of the opportunities and high standards of excellence in the Food & Service Management Sector.
- New products are often showcased at most of our events.