After three hugely successful Fork Off events, the moment of truth had arrived – who would be crowned OMD UK Master Cook in the final? The theme was Signature Dishes so we were treated to a sample of each of the finalist’s culinary favourite. The round-up of OMD UK semi-professionals and their dishes looked a little like this:
- Gokce Altintig – Stuffed Chicken with bacon, rice and chilli
- Chira Tochia – Prawn Curry with chili, ginger, lemon and coconut
- Oli Hill – Chicken, leek and bacon pie with mashed potato
- Alison Hawkins & Lucy Smith – Homemade ravioli with pork sausage, chili and tomato pesto
- Lotte Uttley – Pork and minced beef meatballs stuffed with mozzarella
The judge for the final was Reza Mahammad, owner of the award winning restaurant The Star Of India, where our chosen winner would receive a £250 dinner voucher to enjoy Reza’s food. As excited to be here as we were to host him, Reza provided ample amounts of entertainment for the crowd and – all importantly – a genuine (constructive) critique of the dishes in front of him. He advised how to heighten the flavours of a dish, where seasoning was crucial, and when certain foods had been over (or under) cooked.
His passion for food was infectious and this came through in the running commentary that accompanied each mouthful; “dances in the palette”, “really packs a punch”, “affinity of flavours.” The rich descriptions only served to highlight what a fantastic effort people had made when it came to producing each dish. Every single portion disappeared in half an hour.
The finalist crowned OMD UK Master Cook 2013 was our winner from the very first round, Gokce Altintig, with her stuffed chicken. Reza complimented its moist texture and combination of excellent flavours for receiving crown glory. In second place was Oli Hill with his chicken, leek and bacon pie and in third was Chira Tochia with her prawn curry.
What an excellent way to round off this food feasting month! The results have done us proud, with OMD UK raising £1500 for Kids Company Colour A Child’s Life project. Big thanks go out to the Food Network, whose input was invaluable, and of course the very kind judges who offered their expertise and time. All importantly, huge thanks go to the individuals of OMD UK who took part and dedicated time, money and resource to create the dishes and feed the hungry mouths of their agency. The competition would not have existed without you! We leave with our belly’s full and happy faces – here’s to OMD UK Master Cook 2014