Devon chef Dez Turland is crowned the Vive le Cheese and the Craft Guild of Chefs French cheese recipe champion

21/05/2013 10:05
Devon chef Dez Turland crowned the Vive le Cheese regional recipe champion

The contest, open to all UK professional chefs across the country, was aimed at finding the best recipe using French cheese as a key ingredient, and a particular cheese was allocated to a specific region as follows:• Scotland and Northern Ireland – Camembert• North England and Midlands – Brie• South East England – Epoisses• South West England – Emmental• Wales – Comté• London – Bleu d’AuvergneTurland, based at the Saunton Sands Hotel in South Devon, took the judges by storm with his Emmental and Roscoff onion tart and was acclaimed the overall winner.He said: “When I first saw the Vive le Cheese competition advertised on the Craft Guild of Chefs website, I was immediately interested in putting in an entry as I’ve always had a passion for fine artisan cheese, I knew straightaway when the south west allocated cheese was French Emmental that the soft, nutty flavour would work well with the sweet Roscoff white onion, and that the Cornish Rattler cider and the award winning Coppa ham made by Jean and Martin Edwards at the Deli Farm Charcuterie would complement the Emmental well.”The judges were looking for a quirky regional spin on the dishes and they had to be simple enough for people to recreate at home, and take no more than 30 minutes to cook.Laurent Damiens, director of CNIEL, the French trade body for dairy products, said: “We were delighted with the calibre of the entries. They really go to show that French cheese is not only delicious on its own, but is also a useful and versatile ingredient. The regional winners all demonstrated high levels of innovation but we were exceptionally impressed with Dez's entry.”Craft Guild CEO Martin Bates was also very pleased with the entries: “I was really impressed with Dez's recipe; this is simple, interesting with a regional twist, and tasted great – congratulations Dez.”Turland’s prizes include attending the Concours Général Agricole 2011 competition at the Paris Expo Porte de Versaille in February where he will be a member of the official cheese judging panel. He will also be recreating his winning recipe at the Craft Guild’s Skillery at IFE, the UK’s leading food and drink exhibition, in March.The regional winners are: South West: Dez Turland, group development chef at the Saunton Sands Hotel – Emmental and Roscoff white onion tart with Cornish Coppa ham, Cornish Rattler cider sauce and an Emmental and watercress saladWales: Gareth Johns, chef at the Wynnstay Hotel – French Comté, leek and mustard fritters with hot chilli jamLondon: Allan Pickett, head chef at Plateau Restaurant – Red wine poached pear with Bleu D’AuvergneNorth England and Midlands: Paul Robinson, hospitality curriculum programme leader at the Grimsby Institute of Higher and Further Education – Hazelnut French Brie with a red wine and cherry reductionScotland: David Mutter, head chef at Darroch Learg Hotel & Restaurant – French Camembert and West Coast smoked salmon en croute with beetroot and horseradishSouth East: Paul Capener, head chef at the Kingfisher Country Club – Smoked haddock with an Epoisse sauceAll six regional winners will have their recipes photographed, and the chefs will be filmed creating their winning dishes. Films will be published on the Vive le Cheese website, Youtube channel and Facebook page, and all recipes will be available for publication in regional and national press.• For further information, visit www.vivelecheese.co.uk or contact Sarah Brown on sarah.brown@sopexa.com or 0207 312 3641

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