On June 25 and 26 in Edinburgh, Elior Group organized its second international chefs contest. For two days, thirteen chefs came together from around the world to work in teams and create new recipes based on Scottish produce: the opportunity for the contestant chefs to share their passion for cooking and their culinary cultures.

The 13 chefs hailing from the USA, France, India, Italy, Portugal and the UK worked together in three teams to concoct a 3-course, starter, main dish and dessert meal based on fresh, local and seasonal produce. 120 key Elior Group managers savored and rated each dish on their presentation, taste and originality.

"Cooking creates bonds between different cultures and is a way for me to meet some very interesting people. This contest was the opportunity for us to exchange ideas, experiences and culinary creations thanks to the challenge we were presented with," stressed Danny Leung, chef at Lexington (an Elior Group subsidiary in the UK).

"I cook for our guests’ pleasure as well as for my own enjoyment. My philosophy is based on the desire to learn every day with my teams. In particular, this competition was an opportunity for me to create a vegetarian dish by working with people with different points of view," explained Prabhakar Nagaraj, chef at Elior India.

"Reinventing myself on a daily basis is what I really enjoy about being a chef and what I experienced during the two-day contest in Edinburgh. All the chefs began communicating on WhatsApp weeks in advance, and thanks to our mutual passion and commitment we were able to create an original starter that had everybody’s own personal touch," explained Jimmy Lejeune, chef at Arpège (an Elior Group brand in France). 

The 3-course gala menu comprised:

  • Starter: Scottish veggie delight 
  • Main course: Manet risotto; North Sea halibut with Scottish lobster and zucchini cannelloni; bisque, British asparagus, Blairgowrie raspberry and almond salad;
  • Dessert:  fresh strawberry cake, oatcake dacquoise, vanilla mousseline, strawberry macaroon with caramel and whisky sauce.

The four chefs in the main course team won the competition with the highest number of votes.
By communicating on WhatsApp weeks in advance, the chefs were able to share their recipe ideas, and had time to enjoy themselves in Scotland before getting down to work in the kitchen. The chefs in the 4- nationality winning team concocted a recipe that combines the know-how and cultural particularities of each of its members to create an original, tasty and gourmet dish.