Culinary contest is a recipe for success for Ark Cancer Centre Charity

Generous and appreciative diners helped to crown The Sun Inn BCoT Masterchef of 2016 – and served up a £1,300 boost for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

Jade Smith, Christine Sweet and Sam Nurse – all third year students on the City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery course at the Basingstoke college – competed for diners' votes in a competition organised, and overseen, by acclaimed local chef Gordon Stott.

Gordon, head chef and landlord at The Sun Inn at Dummer, put the three trainee chefs through their paces by giving each contestant a budget of £100 to create their dishes which were then served in the college’s purpose-built restaurant.

This year, Gordon teamed up with Ark Cancer Centre Charity, which recruited most of the diners for the evening.

The guests were the judges and they donated what they felt the evening’s fine dining was worth – and their generous support meant the four-figure sum was donated to the charity’s £5million appeal.

It was a closely-fought contest but 19-year-old Jade, from Fleet, was crowned as the winner, with high praise also coming in for the dishes created by 24-year-old Christine, from Andover, and 19-year-old Sam, from Basingstoke.

Jade, with assistance from sous chef, Amber Choinski, won the highest score with her deconstructed version of Toad in the Hole with pea puree, Yorkshire pudding and cider jus.

Delighted Jade was presented with a trophy and a knife set sponsored by Continental Chef Supplies (CCS), one of the world’s foremost suppliers of catering equipment. She also won a meal for two at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, said: “Congratulations to all three BCoT students for providing a great selection of food for the diners.The charity is grateful to all of the diners for their generous support. Their donations clearly reflected how highly they regarded the standard of the food they were served, and were also a great show of support for the charity and the cancer treatment centre project.Thanks also to the marvellous Gordon Stott, from The Sun Inn, for his fabulous ongoing support for the charity.”

After the high standard of last year’s competition, Gordon knew the students had a tough act to follow.

He said: “Well done to Jade, Christine and Sam for preparing three outstanding dishes. They should be very proud of what they have achieved and I know the industry will welcome three more talented and passionate British chefs.”

Adam Harty, chef lecturer at BCoT, added: “The Sun Inn Masterchef Competition has been an amazing opportunity for the learners, who did a fantastic job producing their own dishes in a pressurised environment.Being able to see how well they have progressed over the last year was an honour for myself and the hospitality department here at BCoT.”

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