On Thursday 23rd March, we had the pleasure of welcoming the 18 finalists of the Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or competition to Le Cordon Bleu London, to take part in an exciting fine dining challenge.
Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or began in 1989 and since then has evolved significantly to become one of the UK’s most prestigious catering competitions. Being part of this competition can change a student and apprentice’s career, with the industry recognising that Toque d’Or competitors have demonstrated true passion and commitment.
Recognising both catering colleges and apprenticeships as great routes into a hospitality career, Toque d’Or was introduced to apprentices this year. As part of the challenge at Le Cordon Bleu London, both students and apprentices got the opportunity to work alongside each other and benefit from each other’s skills and experience.
As part of the competition, our Chefs David Duverger (cuisine) and Nick Patterson (pâtisserie) devised a challenging menu for the competitors to replicate based on the classical techniques that lay at the heart of their teaching methods here are the school.
The preparation of the menu was intended to test the skills of those taking part, which was made even more challenging by the 60 guests that arrived in the evening expecting the finalists to provide them with the perfect fine dining experience.
The front of house service was also part of the challenge, so this as well as the wine pairing was executed by the competitors and overseen by our Wine Development Manager, Matthieu Longuere MS.
The intricate menu consisted of the following:
Blow-torched Mackerel with Seaweed Tartar, Cucumber Consommé Ravioli, Dashi and Yuzu Gel, Pickled Baby Red Onions, Enoki and Celery Cress Salad.
Beetroot Tartar with Pink Peppercorns and Coriander Seed, Semolina Sable, Goat’s Cheese Foam, Balsamic Caviar, Edible Flowers from the Roof, Frosted Pistachios (v).
Lamb Loin with Crust of Panko, Charcoal and Pine Nuts, Lamb Jus, Potato Mousseline, British Asparagus, Grilled Glazed Vegetables, Smoked Garlic Cream.
Toasted and Steamed Quinoa, Spring Vegetable Ragout, Garden Crisp, Curry Tempura Courgette Flowers, Chlorophyll Foam (v).
Rich Chocolate Crémeux with Mango Gel, Chocolate Tuile, Exotic Fruit Bubbles, and Pistachio Sponge.
Maude ‘Mount Maude’ Dry Riesling, Central Otago, New Zealand 2015.
Seriously Cool Cinsault, Waterkloof, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2015.
It really was a fantastic evening with the finalists providing a first-class fine dining experience for our esteemed guests, and it is definitely safe to say that everyone present thoroughly enjoyed the results of all of the competitors’ hard work!
We were delighted to support the Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or 2017 competition, and we look forward to following the rest of the competition and congratulating the winners.