StrEATFood Awards winners interviews

Signature Round winner, Tom Frost from The Pantry (centre)

“I came to the first awards when it first started up and last time I won the vegan round. I did a vegan scotch egg and that was really good fun as well.

“It was a big surprise to win, to be honest, looking at what the other competitor produced. The standard was really, really high. I even had Dan [Kirkpatrick, the previous winner] right next to me competing when I was working. It was a little bit intimidating looking across and seeing all the great dishes and presentation.

“The whole event, everyone is so friendly, though. It’s been an amazing day.”

Technical Round winner, Jamie Bosworth from Blue Apple Catering (right)

“I’m gobsmacked, it’s amazing. I took this on at a very late stage, only two and a half weeks ago I found out I was competing [a colleague was set to attend]. I only practiced once! I’m chuffed.

“We had to select one of the sponsor’s products and I noticed one was the Korean sauce. One of my favourite beef dishes is the bulgogi with pear kimchi, so it was a no-brainer for me.

“I created the dish and it works. The flavours work. My bosses are quite happy with me and hopefully we can do this again next year.

“We’ve shown we can mix it alongside some of the best good companies. It’s a nice feeling, you know. There has been some really good quality here and it felt great.”

Meat-Free Round winner, Adam Collison from Sodexo (left)

“I’m over the moon. A lot of trial and error went into my dish – I did lots of experimenting to get the ‘egg’ right. I was really happy with it.

“I’ve competed in industry chef competitions, but never entered a street food event before. The atmosphere here was completely different – it’s been an absolute whirlwind.

“Vegan food has come a long way; I’ve been a chef for 25 years and the choice out there now has come on leaps and bounds. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t get better and better. Now when we cater at an event, about half of the dishes are vegetarian or vegan – 20 years ago there may have been four or five.

“I’d urge other chefs to enter this competition next year, just do it. It’s great fun and it’s good to test yourself and get out there to see what other people are doing. There are some amazing ideas here. Every day’s a school day, isn’t it? You never stop learning.”

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