Pidy announces winner of its first ‘Revamp the Vol-au-vent’ student challenge

Winner Marian Tandy
11/12/2017 - 11:06
Pastry provider Pidy crowned the winner of its inaugural ‘Revamp the Vol-au-vent’ student challenge last week (7 December), designed to support Pidy products with catering students specifically in mind.

Having taken place at Milton Keynes College’s new pastry kitchen, Marian Tandy from the London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism, University of West London took home the winning title of ‘Best Dish’ for her Japanese-inspired salmon teriyaki canapé; while Ian Barnes from Milton Keynes College and Maezy Beck from Loughborough College were named joint runners-up.

Tandy said: “My aim was to take the traditional vol-au-vent and make something magical with it, which is where the idea of a Japanese-inspired canapé originated from. One of my priorities was to minimise wastage by using the whole salmon for different components of the dish, from the filling to using the crispy skin on top of each canapé for presentation.

“I also concentrated on the combination of flavours I could pack into a vol-au-vent. The wasabi cream adds a slight kick to complement the sweetness from the teriyaki and the sprinkling of sesame seeds was the finishing touch - adding to the appearance, flavour and texture of the overall dish. I am over the moon to have won and I honestly didn’t expect it because everyone did so well and created some spectacular dishes! ”

Challenged to “revamp” the traditional vol-au-vent by creating a canape, starter, main course or dessert “suitable for a menu and as creative and inventive as possible,” the eight finalists had just one hour and had to use one of Pidy’s three vol-au-vents.

Impressing judges, including Bake-Off Crème de la Crème judge Claire Clark; Robert Whittle, general manager of Pidy UK and Fabien Levet, national account manager of foodservice at Pidy UK, with their “exceptional creativity and high standards of the final dishes,” contestants were also commended for the cleanliness of their workspace, efficient preparation and techniques used. 

Whittle commented: “It is amazing to see the talent on offer from the next generation of chefs, and it was great to be able to witness this first hand. We are delighted to see what the students achieved during the competition and to have provided an opportunity for them to showcase their skills and be rewarded for it.

“The creations from each finalist blew everyone away and it was clear to see that they really took on the challenge to reinvent the vol-au-vent. Seeing the recipes the students developed and the quality of the final dishes using Pidy products was truly inspiring.

“We are excited to continue building relationships with young chefs, encouraging them to succeed within the industry and offering a future of many more competitions. It’s an important aim for Pidy to connect with students and be part of their journey into the industry. It’s great to see the upcoming talent and see what they bring to the table in terms of fresh, innovative ideas and raw talent.”

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