ABERDEEN-based Chris Macleod, executive chef at ESS Offshore & Remote – the leading food and support services provider to the offshore sector – has been crowned Compass Group UK & Ireland senior chef of the year.
This prestigious cooking competition, now in its 20th year, took place at the beginning of October at The Restaurant Show at London’s Olympia. Hundreds of chefs from Compass Group UK & Ireland – the UK’s largest food and support services company – applied to take part in the competition across its three categories: apprentice, junior and senior chef of the year.
The senior competition saw 10 chefs cook four courses in just two hours, including a sustainable fish course and a vegan or vegetarian starter. Chris’ winning menu was:
Belgium dark casket chocolate & pistachio crumb with Dulche caramel mousse and rich caramel, puff candy, vanilla bean ice-cream, butterscotch sauce and candied hazelnut shavings
- Heirloom beetroot
amuse bouchewith Pickled vegetables, creamed vegan cheese and a beetroot reduction
- Seared Amity smoked cod fillet with Langoustine, broad beans, garden pea and smoked pancetta fricassee, tomato crumble and lemon rapeseed oil dressed leaves
- Duo of pan-roasted corn-fed chicken with Wild mushroom farce,
panko crustedlivers, butternut squash puree, wilted spinach and glazed baby vegetables
- Belgium dark casket chocolate & pistachio crumb with Dulche caramel mousse and rich caramel, puff candy, vanilla bean ice-cream, butterscotch sauce and candied hazelnut shavings
Chris Macleod, executive chef at ESS Offshore & Remote,said of his win: “I am absolutely overwhelmed to have won as it is something I have dreamt about for a long time. I have competed in the senior chef competition on two previous occasions and to finally win on the third attempt means the world to me. I have recently become a father, and the added motivation and support I have received from my family has been amazing. I worked hard to create a menu that was inspiring and met the brief from the judges, whilst also thinking about our local suppliers and provenance.”
Chris started at ESS Offshore & Remote as senior chef de partie, working at a client’s head office site, and over the last seven and a half years has worked his way up to his current role of executive chef, where he provides support for the onshore contracts in the Aberdeen area.
Ronnie Kelman, business director at ESS Offshore & Remote said: “We’re delighted about this win. Chris has shown immense skill and passion in the kitchen and this competition is all about showing talent in our business – it’s brilliant to see him flying the flag for ESS chefs. Our chefs have to cook under challenging conditions within the offshore and remote sector and Chris has clearly demonstrated what can be done using local ingredients, creativity and dedication. Well done to Chris.”
Compass senior chef of the year was judged by an esteemed panel of chefs including: celebrity chef, Brian Turner CBE; Peter Griffiths MBE, president of the British Culinary Federation; Chris Tanner – one of the founding partners of the Tanners Restaurant; Simon Hulstone, chef proprietor of the 1* Michelin The Elephant restaurant; Omero Gallucci, chef consultant; Nathan Aldous, lead pastry chef for Team England; and last year’s Compass senior chef of the year winner, Daniel Lines, Restaurant Associates.