Public voting is now open for the competition, which sees the site – part of the Hallmark group –– going head to head with teams from seven other sectors including: Restaurants; Pubs; Schools; Universities and Colleges; Event Catering; B&I and Hotels.
Following a paper submission, each entry into the competition was judged by a panel including: Executive Head Chef at Hertfordshire’s world-famous The Grove, Harry Lomas MBE, and Executive Development Chef at the University of Warwick, Graham Crump.
Once chosen, the final eight were then tasked with creating a short video to bring their original entry to life and showcase their kitchen camaraderie, great cooking and togetherness as a unit.
The public now have until midday GMT on 27th June 2017 to go to: www.bestbrigades.co.uk, watch the videos and use their vote to crown a winner. Only one will receive the coveted title, £1000 cash plus an exclusive menu development masterclass with a leading UK chef. 50p per vote will also go to the chosen charity of each brigade.
The finalists in full:
Healthcare – Anisha Grange
Residents’ needs are at the top of this brigade’s priorities, whether that’s providing a one-off special for someone under the weather or a bespoke birthday cake to help celebrate a
big day. Regular meetings with residents mean the team can ensure the menus they create keep everyone happy.
Chosen Charity: St Luke’s Hospice, Basildon
Watch the Video Entry: https://youtu.be/5MS7tW2IYYI
Restaurants – The Cosy Club
Fully entrenched in the competitive world of casual dining as part of the Loungers group, the Cosy Club operates with a small but incredibly loyal and focused team. With a menu that emphasises the three ‘B’s – breakfast, burgers and a highly popular brunch, this brigade is constantly developing dishes, with ideas and inspiration coming from the commis right up to the head chefs.
Chosen Charity: Age UK
Watch the Video Entry: https://youtu.be/u2xxhdjTdJ0
Pubs – The Rose and Crown
Passion, pride, training and mutual support are the watchwords of this family unit, part of the celebrated Peach estate of pubs. From the floorboards up, the team culture means input from every member is valued – a mantra of ‘consistency in the kitchen, consistency in the quality of food’, means staff retention is high. One indispensable team member is the Rose and Crown’s dedicated BBQ smoker – the only one in the entire estate – which makes for some seriously flavoursome food.
Chosen Charity: The Peach Foundation
Watch the Video Entry: https://youtu.be/cXdhLGlK4Yo
Event Catering – Sue Brady Catering
Catering for all occasions, this all-female brigade is dedicated to providing the very best dishes using only locally-sourced produce where possible. With no head-chef everyone plays their part to help cater for weddings, charity events and much more besides.
Chosen Charity: Julia’s House Children’s Hospice
Watch the Video Entry: https://youtu.be/inYtyQHt_Fk
B&I – Restaurant Associates
This talented team – contracted in-house at global top 10 law firm, Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer – mix youth and experience to great effect. From simple food-to-go, through to banquets, buffets and fine dining, no job is too much, no menu too complex. With such a
close knit brigade, it’s no surprise that the kinship continues outside of the kitchen walls with regular social events.
Chosen Charity: Dementia UK
Watch the Video Entry: https://youtu.be/3ABUxH33_rI
Universities and Colleges – Madingley Hall
Whether it’s barbecues, banquets, outdoor cinemas, weddings or beyond, this versatile University brigade has it covered. A policy of no firm menu plans means the team can use their skill and years of experience, imagination and trust to get creative.
Chosen Charity: Arthur Rank Hospice
Watch the Video Entry: https://youtu.be/MTnDmsUZXNo
Schools – Park Community School
This Havant kitchen is a shining example of how good school food can be. The proud brigade at its heart not only rears its own pigs for meat, it also oversees a full scale kitchen garden and beehive, believing that locally sourced produce is the key to keeping kids concentrating and improving education around food and nutrition.
Chosen Charity: Park Community Ventures
Watch the Video Entry: https://youtu.be/NO5vihBslII
Hotels – Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park Hotel
This hard working hotel brigade isn’t scared to put in the long hours to keep the hotel ticking, and is never happier when it has to pull together for a service. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, while taking care of high end functions and seeing to the needs of hungry
golfers, the hotel’s newest concept, Street Food Village, combines innovative cooking with global flavours to bring to life the theatre and fun of street food.
Chosen Charity: SSNAP (Support for the sick newborn and their parents)
Watch the Video Entry: https://youtu.be/X3VLHopjlz0
Nigel Crane, Managing Director for Essential Cuisine, says: “We’re proud to announce our eight finalists, some fantastic examples, proof that teamwork and care for the craft of cooking transcends the sectors as a constant in every professional kitchen. As the voting opens, I urge people to visit: www.bestbrigades.co.uk and have their say today – only one team can take the title.”