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Compass names Apprentice Chef of the Year winner

2nd Oct 2023 - 07:00
Jess Miller (third from left)
Jess Miller, apprentice chef de partie at Chartwells Independent, has been crowned the Compass Apprentice Chef of the Year following a final cook off between eight chefs.

Held at the Compass Group headquarters in Chertsey, each finalist was presented with a box of mystery ingredients and then tasked with creating a two-course meal in just two hours.

Jess is studying a level 3 chef de partie qualification at Westminster Kingsway College. The winning menu included:

  • Main course: Chalk stream trout with braised fennel, tenderstem broccoli, confit leek, with a leek ash and a leek cream, served with tarragon and parsley oil
  • Dessert: Chocolate fondant with poached pears

Jess Miller commented: “It was such a great experience to be involved in this competition. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during this process and Compass, for the opportunity to take part. I am really looking forward to the celebratory dinner event, where I get to cook my own menu for a huge guestlist.”

In second place was Cameron Tullis, professional cookery apprentice at Levy UK + Ireland and joint third was given to Mohamed Elhrabi, apprentice commis chef at ESS, and Diana Onyeka, apprentice commis chef at Levy UK + Ireland.

The culinary competition was judged by celebrity Chef Bryn Williams; Compass Group UK & Ireland culinary director Nick Vadis; development chef for Chartwells Independent Leanne Turk plus culinary academy vice principal at HIT Training, Mark Belford.

Chef Bryn Williams, who is Compass Cymru’s culinary ambassador, added: “These amazingly talented chefs are given a box of unknown ingredients before they start cooking in this competition. It really is great to see how their creative flair and skills have shone through, as they set to work making some fantastic dishes under pressure! The standard was brilliant, a huge congratulations to everyone who took part.”

Written by
Edward Waddell