A Staffordshire University chef has entered The Great Hospitality Show competition hosted at Birmingham’s NEC.
John Whittle, 43, from Stoke-on-Trent, works as an executive chef at Brindley Café in Staffordshire University, where he serves up his creations to hundreds of students daily.
With 27 years of experience in the food industry under his belt, John was encouraged by Staffordshire University to enter the competition with two of his colleagues, Louise Chatfield acting as second chef and Rachel Burgess acting as waitress.
He said: “We did achieve a merit.
“The way the competition is drawn out is gold, silver, bronze and merit – so, not bad for a first attempt.”
The team won a merit award for the challenge where they had to prepare, cook and serve a three-course meal in just 90 minutes.
John was also due to compete solo in a street food challenge where competitions have 45 minutes to create dishes using either fish or shellfish.
The chef said: “It was definitely nerve-wracking.
“We competed against the likes of the RAF and caterers from Central London, so these guys do fine dining on a daily basis.”
John has also been entered into The TUCO (The University Caterers’ Organisation) competition at Warwick University on in March.
The Great Hospitality Show is the UK’s largest exhibition for food and hospitality. From January 23-25, hundreds of leading hospitality brands promote their products.
The world-class culinary competition, Salon Culinaire is a showcase dedicated to chefs all over the country battling for medals and merits.