I cannot tell you how pleased I am that we are able to hold the International Salon Culinaire once again as part of HRC 2022 at ExCeL London. It’s been a long and tough 18-24 months for many of us and to be able to bring chefs from across the UK together again and give them the chance to test their skills in a live and buzzing show environment is almost mouth-watering. Huge thanks to the Montgomery Group who continue to invest in the development of Chefs by hosting the Salon.
So it’s time to dust off your competition knife sets and set about choosing your entries for next year’s International Salon Culinaire competitions.
I am delighted to introduce this year’s competition line-up, which will have over 100 different competition classes. Of course, the hospitality sector has had to adapt in light of the pandemic and we’ve sought to include some exciting new live competitions with themes that reflect the challenges in today’s hospitality sector, such as the emergence of the restaurant home meal kits, spurring A Restaurant Home Meal Kit Competition, and the importance of apprentice chefs in light of staffing pressures has inspired us to launch the Apprentice Challenge. We are also delighted to be launching our inaugural Pub Chef of the Year competition.
There are many different competitions for chefs of varying levels of skills and experience, so I’m sure you will find a class that will appeal to you. As well as adding new classes to the program we have also brought back some of the most popular competitions from previous years, including the Mystery Basket Grand Prix, the Craft Guild of Chef’s National Chef Team of the Year and, of course, our mainstay lamb, pasta and cheese challenges.
Our Skills Theatre will be back, with both kitchen and service competitions. Colleges the length and breadth of the country are fighting for spaces in this Salon, to test the abilities of their students. As an enrichment to their teaching programs, it shows commitment from the college lecturers in going the extra mile for the betterment of their young chefs.
Not forgetting the static Salon Display and Sugarcraft culinary artists, a fantastic opportunity to showcase the incredible talent that our industry has to offer. In the display area there will be a welcome return for the “Table of Honour”. This is where some International Gold winning competitors will show off their medal winning exhibits for viewing.
This year, for the first time, the website will host some useful masterclass videos demonstrating some of the skills tests that we will be challenging our students and apprentices with some of the techniques needed to produce medal-winning Salon Display exhibits and guides on making the most out of the fantastic equipment on offer. In January 2022 we will also be running a free online competitors’ seminar on how to improve your chances for medal success at Salon, so make sure you don’t miss that!
The Live Theatre kitchens will be kitted out with state-of-the-art cooking equipment for our competitors to cook with. Thanks to our partners Unox who are supplying the combi-ovens, Induced Energy, supplying the induction hobs and Leibherr for refrigeration.
In order to maximise your competing experience please do check out the competition pages on the Salon website – www.internationalsalonculinaire.co.uk – there is a huge amount of information that you will need and which will help to clarify the rules, setting you up for competition success.
Good luck to all competitors, I hope that participating in International Salon Culinaire is both rewarding and enjoyable, and gives you an experience and a challenge that will motivate you to reach greater heights in your career. Don’t forget to get all your colleagues to register to visit the event so they can support your entry.
On behalf of all the Montgomery Group and the International Salon Culinaire team, I would like to thank all of our sponsors, the Salon teams, judges and colleagues for their continued support.
I look forward to welcoming you at the HRC Show on 21-23 March.