Friday saw six teams, consisting of chefs and managers from across our business, coming together to compete in our 12thannual Hot Nosh competition. This is no standard cooking contest (although naturally the planning, execution, presentation and taste of a wide range of dishes – to meet a specific brief plays a large part). Instead, Hot Nosh has always been the chance for our people to show their collective creativity by designing a food concept and putting it into context for the judges – using a business plan, a marketing strategy and a host of other initiatives of their choice to tell the story.

This year, the judges: Mark Philpott, Clive Hetherington, Phil Roker, Dan Kelly and guest judge – restaurant critic, food writer and consultant Roopa Gulati were tasked with critiquing each team’s creation – ‘a high street concept that can be adapted to corporate dining environments - ensuring that the concept  addresses current and future food and service trends to maximise sales.’

The judges were looking for beautiful flavours, colours, seasoning, presentation, innovation and an understanding of the brief, as well as interesting interpretations of seasonal themes and produce. There was a focus on a real understanding of the melding of flavours and textures.

And our teams, without doubt, rose to the challenge!

After the final round ‘The Cook Off’ had been judged, Mark Philpott addressed the sixty contestants “This year’s competition has raised the bar higher than ever before. We created Hot Nosh twelve years ago as a means of bringing different teams of all levels together, from across our business so that we, the owners, could see first-hand, the skills and creativity of our people. The quality of our people and the standard of food that you produce and the innovative ideas that you bring to us never ceases to amaze. Thank you for all your hard work in delivering a fantastic Hot Nosh 2019, you should all be very proud of what you have achieved We, the judges are in absolute awe of what we have seen and tasted here today.”

So…who are the winners? All will be revealed at our annual awards ceremony ‘Hot Shots’ on 1st July. Watch this space!