Vegetarian Chef of the Future finalist

Share |
Posted on 02 May 2013

The Vegetarian Society’s cookery school, Cordon Vert, is pleased to announce that a Keele University chef is one of the finalists for its Chef of the Future 2013 competition. The live final, on Wednesday 8 May, will see four contestants from Keele University,Staffordshire, Yorkshire, Hampshire and Suffolk battle it out to produce a three course meal, plated for four people, within three hours.

Alex Connell, Principal Tutor at the Cordon Vert, said, “We set out to find fresh, innovative dishes that celebrate quality food which is able to hold its own for all audiences – vegetarian and meat eater alike. The finalist’s menus certainly do this. And, last year’s winner Chef Gary Ashley returns to try and retain his title of Cordon Vert Chef of the Future.”     

Finalists and menus

Gary Ashley - Yateley Manor School, Hampshire, Chef of the Future Winner 2012

Spiced butter bean patty, sweet chilli, lemongrass and soy

Sri Lankan sweet potato, cauliflower and spinach curry, cashew and coconut milk

With saffron and cardamom rice, cumin and garlic flat bread Mango, lime and cardamom panna cotta with anise poached pears and sesame and vanilla tuile


James Tudor - Keele Hall, Keele University, Staffordshire

Tortellini of Staffordshire organic wild garlic cheese and woodland mushrooms, celeriac foam and truffle oil

Smoked tofu with Moroccan spiced sweet potato, wilted spinach, tomato and tamarind sauce

Pear soufflé with dark chocolate ice cream, pistachio tuile


Jonathan Tite - The Showroom, Sheffield, Yorkshire

Warmed watercress and nettle panna cotta with early summer salad

Polenta and asparagus ballotine with Barncliffe brie, seared asparagus tips, fondant potato, pickled wild mushrooms and shallot jus

Rhubarb and custard baked Alaska ginger tuile and rhubarb and stem ginger syrup


Natasha Koncewicz  - Suffolk

Goats cheese and parsnip ice cream served on a seeded cone, blackberry vinegar topping and roasted nut crumble

Surf and turf – Tofu and butternut squash rings with a laver and oatmeal pudding on a bed of samphire, herb duchess potatoes, tempura sea kale stalks and carrot caviar, served with a tarragon and garlic hollandaise sauce

Chai spiced pear and almond soup with gold dusted rose petal mochi

The judging panel consists of Alex Connell, Cordon Vert Principal Tutor, Jane Hughes, Cordon Vert Tutor, food writer and editor of the Vegetarian magazine, Mike Haddow, Group Executive Chef - Shire Hotels and Thwaites Inns of Character, Robert Higginson, Sous Chef Dettoris Restaurant - Cresta Court Hotel, Altrincham.

The Cordon Vert School has an unrivalled reputation for excellent and innovative vegetarian cuisine, drawing on a variety of international flavours and ingredients reflecting current trends in world cuisine with fresh and imaginative ideas. For more information on professional and leisure courses visit


Notes for editors

·        For more press information please contact Su or Liz on 0161 925 2012/2013 email or mobile 07973 108 165/7.

·        For images of past winners, their menus or comments please contact the press office.

·        A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or the by-products of slaughter.

·        Diary date: National Vegetarian Week 2013 is from 20-26 May, contact Su or Liz for a press pack.

Su Taylor

Press Officer |  The Vegetarian Society

0161 925 2000 | |