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15th April 2021

International Salon Culinaire announces winner of cheese starter challenge

Written by: Edward Waddell
International Salon Culinaire, the historic chef competition hosted at the HRC Show, has unveiled the second set of winners in its series of virtual chef challenges taking place in 2021.

The Alsop & Walker Cheese Starter Awards, in partnership with Compass Group UK & Ireland, saw chefs around the UK produce a cheese-based starter.

The entrants were required to submit a recipe, a brief description and a photo of the dish, plus a short video showing their creation and detailing their reasons for entering it into the competition.

At a virtual awards ceremony on 14 April Salon director Steve Munkley revealed Lance Corporal Sonam Sherpa had won the prestigious Gold Award.

Munkley commented: “After the tremendous success of our first competition I was overwhelmed by the level of entries for this one. Even though many chefs have not been able to get into their commercial kitchens we have seen some incredible entries, developed and cooked in the safe environments of your homes.”


  • LCpl Sonam Sherpa, The Army


  • James St Claire-Jones, British Army Culinary Arts Team/ Hoar Cross Hall
  • Pte Brett Silk, The Army
  • Kurtus Auty, The Swan Inn, Chiddingfold
  • Lewis Garratt, Royal Air Force
  • David Hearn, Compass Group – ESS
  • Michael Jones, Brockley Hall Hotel
  • Ross Jaegar, Royal Air Force


  • Varun Khanna, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management
  • Charlotte Benbow, Belzan, Manchester
  • Francesca Briga, Cubbitt House
  • Graham Mitchell, The Newmachar Hotel
  • Peter Webster, Private Chef
  • Robbie Mcguinness, Cvoea
  • Darren McLellan, Royal Air Force
  • Sam Wydymus, Terroir 63
  • Jasmine Payne, Brewhouse and Kitchen


  • Daniel Johnston, Hoarcross Hall Hotel and Spa
  • Miguel Soares, The Tower Hotel
  • Patricia Winters, Patricia Winters
  • Avraam Dimitrios Avramidis, Home Kitchen


  • Ethan Sayce, Plant Based Dreams

Salon Culinaire project director Andrew Pantelli, added: “It was fantastic to see the number and level of entries for our second virtual awards and we love that chefs are using this series of competitions to think outside the box and challenge themselves creatively.

“Huge congratulations to Sonam and all those recognised today, and many thanks to our esteemed judges, headline sponsor Compass Group UK & Ireland and competition sponsor Alsop & Walker.”