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Haileybury chef dishes up a bronze

Haileybury chef Christopher Law is celebrating after cooking his way to a bronze medal in the national Compass Group Junior Chef of the Year 2006 competition.

Christopher, 23, is chef de partie for specialist education caterers Chartwells, part of Compass Group, at Haileybury. Christopher, who has been training as a chef at Haileybury since 2004 and lives in Hoddesdon, took bronze in the competition held at the Restaurant Show at London’s Olympia in September.

The Compass Group Chef of the Year event challenged 30 of Compass Group’s leading chefs to create a three-course meal for two in one-and-a-half hours, using designated ingredients in each course. Competitors had to prepare a risotto dish for the starter, a fish dish for the main course and a dessert using mango.

Finalists were selected from hundreds of Compass Group chefs, who all competed at regional cook-offs around the country.

Competing in the junior section, Christopher impressed the judges with his starter of pea and ham risotto with iced pea shoots, mint foam and pancetta crisp. For his main course, he prepared salmon confit with cassoulet of beans and gazpacho sauce, followed by baked mango fondant with lime syrup and vanilla scented ice cream.

Encouraged by the previous competition successes of colleagues at Haileybury, this is the first competition Christopher has entered. "It was an exciting challenge and one that gave me lots of experience and different ideas for cooking fresh and nutritious meals. I’m looking forward to using my new skills when preparing meals for the school," he says. "I’m really pleased to be bringing the bronze award back to Haileybury."

Another of Haileybury’s chefs, Craig Porter, also entered the competition, getting through to the final and being awarded a certificate of merit.

Chartwells managing director, Sandra Kerton, said: "Congratulations to Christopher on his excellent achievement. These competitions are essential in enabling our young chefs to put their skills to the test, as well as giving them the opportunity to share and develop new ideas with their colleagues."

Ian El-Mokadem, chief executive officer of Compass Group UK & Ireland, was very impressed with the high quality of entries: "This competition demonstrates the very high standards of culinary skills across Compass Group, and is a great showcase for our talented chefs."