The British senior and junior teams returned home from the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany last week with a record breaking haul of 35 medals.
The international four-day competition, which takes place every four years, is considered the most prestigious event in the culinary calendar. Around 3,000 chefs from across 35 countries took part this year, in categories split into “Hot Kitchen” and “Cold Buffet”.
The British senior team, competing for the first time since 1996 and led by Knorr National Chef of the Year Simon Hulstone, picked up 25 medals, while the junior team scooped 10.
Brian Cotterill was overall organiser for the British Culinary Olympic Team, which was backed by Churchill China, Electrolux UK and Heinz Foodservice UK and the British Culinary Federation.
He said: “In an international competition of this calibre, each chef is under pressure to use his or her own individual talents for the good of the team. The quantity of medals won at Erfurt is an indication not only of the immense skill, but also of the discipline and team spirit of all those involved.”
The Welsh team – which entered separately from the British team - picked up two silvers among its haul of 24 medals, its best ever result at the Olympics.
Team manager Graham Tinsley said: “This is my fourth Culinary Olympics and the best we had done previously was bronze medals, so it’s a fantastic achievement against all the odds this time.”
The Scottish team also enjoyed a good Olympics, picking up 10 medals.
There was also success for the Compass Group team - the only UK contract caterer to enter - which picked up 15 medals and the Craft Guild of Chefs, which won one gold medal for Eton College chef James Davies, eight silvers and five bronzes. The team members, who competed in the individual event, are part of the Guild’s Culinary Academy.
In the overall national competition, Norway came out on top, followed by Germany, Sweden and Singapore.
By Daniel Thomas
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