ACE Ready Steady Cook

Date: 17th September 2020
Venue: East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf

BaxterStorey and Blue Apple celebrate success at 21st anniversary ‘ACE Ready Steady Cook – The Next Generation’

The Association of Catering Excellence’s annual Ready Steady Cook competition was held on Thursday 26th September at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, London. Launched in 1999, the competition celebrated its 21st anniversary this year.

There were two prizes – one for the team that created the winning menu, and a separate award for a young chef who caught the judges’ eye for their skill and potential.

The overall winners were BaxterStorey with a winning menu of 5 spiced pork fillet, soy glazed pancetta, torched courgette, pickled aubergine, shallot & ginger dressing followed by tahini and dark chocolate whipped ganache, pickled pear skins, tahini caramel. Their prize is dinner for two for each of the chefs at Roux at Parliament Square.

ACE continues to encourage up and coming young talent in the foodservice sector with the Young Star Chef Award. Each team included a chef aged 26 or under, many of whom were apprentices. The award went to Emanuele Ciafardini from Blue Apple who won dinner for 2 with pairing wines at an Adam Handling restaurant of their choice, as well as having the opportunity to work with Adam Handling who says:

“I’m thrilled to be working with ACE to offer their Young Star Chef Award winner work experience in one of my kitchens. I’ve always made sure my kitchens showcase fresh talent - it’s vital to celebrate and support emerging chefs in this industry and to nurture their passion for what can often be quite a difficult and high-pressured career to start out in. It’s also fantastic to see how passionate new chefs in the industry are about minimising waste. Everyone in my group is committed to cooking in the most sustainable way possible, and I’m excited to give the winner a chance to take part in our training programmes, where we will teach them how to try and eliminate waste at every possible stage of cooking. I still remember my mentors from when I started out at 16; it was their guidance that helped me really develop as a chef and get me to where I am now, so to be able to help mentor the next generation of chefs is an absolute privilege for me. I can’t wait to welcome them into my team and start cooking!”
Adam Handling, Chef Owner of Adam Handling Restaurant Group

Chair of ACE, Sue Thompson said:
“This event is all about the chefs that are at the heart of our industry. It’s really important to promote the younger generation and give them confidence in the work they’re doing. It’s amazing that one of them will get the chance to work with Adam. It’s also a great networking opportunity with so many companies, suppliers and sponsors here.”

The judges included Mike Reid, Adam Handling and Daniel Ayton.

Competing from across the foodservice industry were BaxterStorey, Blue Apple, CH&Co, Gather & Gather, Genuine Dining Company, Graysons, HIT, Holroyd Howe, ISS, Lexington, Restaurant Associates and Vacherin. Lexington were in second place, and in third place were Gather & Gather.

The ingredients were revealed to the teams of two on the night with just half an hour to plan and prepare a main course and dessert and then 30 minutes to cook it in front of a live audience of over 200. The ingredients (supplied by British Premium Meats, Belazu, 4degC and kff) were pork fillet, guinea fowl and pancetta with a range of store cupboard ingredients, fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits.

Judge Daniel Ayton said: “The standard across the board was incredibly high this year, and the final decision was very close with just 1 point between each of the placed teams.”

Every chef in the competition was given a personalised Bragard chef jacket, and a goody bag from prize sponsor Collins King.

ACE’s chosen charity for 2019/20 is Hospitality Action. Over £500 raised by the raffle will be donated to them. The charity provides support to those who need it in the hospitality industry.

Leftover food ingredients will be distributed by City Harvest to organisations that help homeless people in London.

Our photographer captured the excitement of the event brilliantly! Have a look at the gallery here – you may recognise some of the faces…

Click here to view the 2019 photos.

Click here to view the 2018 video highlights.

Our Event Main Sponsor

Collins King & Associates
Collins King & Associates An independently owned hospitality recruitment consultancy whose primary focus is the sourcing of high calibre and experienced management, culinary and support personnel to the hospitality industry.

Our Event Sponsors

Bewleys Founded in 1840, Bewley’s is Ireland’s leading coffee and tea company. We’ve been perfecting the craft of tea and coffee making for many generations, from our humble beginnings in a little shop in Dublin, Ireland.
British Premium Meats
British Premium Meats British Premium Meats travel the length and breadth of the country to source the very best products at a competitive price, and offer a great choice of meat products.
Wilcox Burchmore
Wilcox Burchmore WilcoxBurchmore design and install commercial kitchens, specialising in schools, and business & industry.
kff Working in partnership with our food suppliers kff regularly review their products to make sure they are the best in the market and available to you at competitive, sustainable prices.
4°C 4°C offers Caterers a range of Chilled products that is compact and complete - yet manages to offer choice. At competitive prices.
Bragard Bragard have been providing specialist professional clothing since 1933, with a vast collection of catering clothing.
Roller Grill
Roller Grill A global leader in catering equipment manufacture. All products are manufactured at one of two modern production facilities in France using quality European components so that you may be as proud of your Roller Grill equipment as we are.
CookTek CookTek brings professional kitchen equipment to a whole new level with advanced, efficient induction cooktops, countertop burners, food warmers and more.
Johnsons Stalbridge
Johnsons Stalbridge Stalbridge offer a high quality range of smart chefs wear, kitchen cloths, crisp white bed linen, fluffy towels and a range of elegant white and coloured table linen.
Nisbets Nisbets Catering equipment supplies for restaurants, hotels, bars and kitchens, professional chefs and caterers.
TWO Currently celebrating 30 years in the business, TWO provide expert kitchen, ductwork and ventilation cleaning, planned maintenance and emergency repairs.
Corney & Barrow
Corney & Barrow At over 230 years old, Corney & Barrow is one of the oldest independent wine merchants in the UK.
Vegware Vegware is a manufacturer and visionary brand, and the only completely compostable packaging company operating globally.
Nix & Kix
Nix & Kix Nix & Kix is a range of soft drinks with a unique ingredient – cayenne chilli. Chilli is our favourite spice. Aside from its health benefits and the amazing ‘kick’, it helps us create great-tasting drinks – without having to use refined sugar.
Belazu Since 1991, our quest has taken us over the Mediterranean basin – and we’re still hungry to find more.

The Fresh Olive Company started with two best friends, George and Adam, and a carload of Provencal olives on a ferry. We went on to forge a reputation in the food service industry, supplying an illustrious customer base including many Michelin-star restaurants.

We stopped calling ourselves the Fresh Olive Company because our relentless search for ingredients has revealed so much more than olives and olive oil. Now trading as The Belazu Ingredient Company, we offer a wide variety of innovative and traditional antipasti, grains, pastes and vinegars too.
Delicious Ideas
Delicious Ideas Clive, Jan, Emma & Jonathan Potter started Sweet Ideas in 1991, selling confectionery and snacks to local independents in Cambridgeshire. They launched their own confectionery branded packs in 1994.

DDC Foods Ltd.
DDC Foods Ltd. Since 1996 DDC have been committed to offering products that are not only new and exciting with a point of difference, but are more locally produced as well as being better for you.
Brave Grown in the lush fields of East Anglia, these crunchy and deliciously moreish peas are nutritional powerhouses.

Carefully roasted to a perfect crunch, they’re a bit like nuts and make for the perfect snack!

We’re Amber and Seb, the co-founders of BRAVE and we are obsessed with peas.

We think pulses are massively underrated and we’ve made it our mission to spread the good word about how amazing peas are!

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