Fergus in 'cook-off'

EXECUTIVE head chef at Wyboston Lakes, Fergus Martin, has secured a place in the semi-finals of the Knorr National Chef of the Year 2006 competition. The competition originally attracted 600 professional chefs, but this has now been whittled down to just

EXECUTIVE head chef at Wyboston Lakes, Fergus Martin, has secured a place in the semi-finals of the Knorr National Chef of the Year 2006 competition.

The competition originally attracted 600 professional chefs, but this has now been whittled down to just 40 'semi-finalists' who will compete for the overall title at the Restaurant Show at London's Olympia on September 18-19.

Fergus said: "I believe that conference centres should put themselves forward as venues producing high quality and exciting foods.

"This prestigious competition is held every two years. This is my second time of entering, and I also reached the semi finals in 2004."

Entrants were required to devise a three-course meal for four based around a non-dairy vegetarian starter, venison main course and chocolate dessert.

Judges chose their favourite menus according to the published criteria including correct use of prime ingredients, clear methodologies and overall balance of the menu.

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Fergus added: "This competition sets a benchmark for chefs and I feel privileged to compete against some of the best chefs in the country, and I am looking forward with anticipation to the live cook-offs in September."

Fergus's menu

Starter: Sesame crusted asparagus and aubergine strudel with white asparagus, chantenay carrot and mooli slaw with lemon mustard dressing and sakura cress.

Main: Rosemary honey and cumin glazed loin of Denham Farm Estate venison with Bramley apple, spinach and potato mash, wild mushrooms, shallots and beans and a blackcurrant mead jus.

Dessert: Baked chocolate cheesecake with a pecan crust, chocolate beignets and maple syrup ripple ice cream.

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