Hotelympia will once again host culinary competition International Salon Culinaire when it returns to London’s ExCel on 5-8 March 2018.
Student and professional chefs will do battle in over 100 competitions, demonstrating their skills in the hope that they can follow in the footsteps of many of today’s leading UK chefs.
The four categories all return: Live Theatre – with a series of hot live cooking classes; La Parade des Chefs – which sees two teams prepare a three course lunch for 100 covers each day; the Skills Theatre, sponsored by Le Cordon Bleu London – aimed at chefs and front-of-house staff in the early stages of their careers; and Salon Display classes, sponsored by Compass Group – a range of hand-crafted exhibits in sugar, chocolate, fat, pastillage and more.
New challenges brought about by key trends have also been introduced. Chefs will have the opportunity to show their understanding of veganism and street food with the arrival of the Quorn Vegan Challenge, Pan Artisan Street Food Dough Ball Challenge and Cheese Starter. Also new is the Craft Guild of Chefs’ National Team of the Year, which will see chef trios go head to head for the chance to be crowned this year’s champions.
The Salon Display category will also experience a number of new elements in 2018. The new Salon Display Theatre will showcase the skills needed to create the exhibits on show via a number of up-close, practical demonstrations. Meanwhile the sugarcraft classes will recognise the most successful competitor in the category via the Professional Cake Decorator of the Year Award, sponsored by Renshaw.
La Parade des Chefs also returns with the remit of helping the English, Welsh and Scottish National Culinary Teams prepare for the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg in November 2018. The exact criteria and conditions that the teams are required to work to will be replicated as far as possible in the La Parade des Chefs kitchens, providing the teams with an opportunity to practice and perfect their dishes and teamwork.
Compass Group, Celtic Manor Resort, Craft Guild of Chefs and Sodexo as well as the Combined Services Culinary Arts Team will also be competing during the course of the exhibition. Visitors to Hotelympia will be able to experience the cooking for themselves by reserving a place for lunch at La Parade des Chefs when bookings become available on the Hotelympia website.
Evenings at La Parade des Chefs will also showcase the talents of student chefs with the College Canapé Competition sponsored by Worshipful Company of Cooks. This year, teams from South Thames College, Sheffield College, University College Birmingham and The Clink have been challenged with creating a selection of street food dishes and a complementary cocktail.
Steve Munkley, chef director, Salon Culinaire said: “2018 is set to be the best year yet for International Salon Culinaire at Hotelympia. Programme additions and changes have helped to ensure it remains fresh and relevant to modern hospitality and I look forward to seeing the wealth of talent on show in each category.
“Many of Britain’s most famous chefs of today took their first steps towards successful careers at International Salon Culinaire. For many, it is the first taste of competitive cooking, an opportunity to prove themselves and a chance to excel in the culinary spotlight. With the industry’s skills shortage well documented, International Salon Culinaire is exactly the type of event to spearhead the campaign to tackle the problem, head-on, allowing aspiring professionals in the hospitality industry to gain the recognition they deserve and the experience they require.”