The Student Watercress Challenge 2020 WINNERS

5th November 2020

Launched just 4 weeks ago this Student Watercress challenge has been a great success- engaging students with their lecturers to have some fun with watercress and Inspire their culinary knowledge and tastebuds. The challenge attracted 52 fantastic entries form 18 colleges nationwide from South Lanarkshire to Eastleigh and West Cheshire to Colchester – great lecturers Inspiring their students – you are all winners …. 

1st Place-  Winners – Ben Addey – Sheffield College, Lecturer - Len Unwin

Beetroot cured salmon, horseradish cream, watercress sorbet, tempura, oil and butter with a crab and watercress beignet

Judge Mick “A well-executed dish demonstrating innovation and skill with the use of watercress in the creation of this dish”

Judge Seymour “Very technical looking dish, with a good showcase utilising watercress, well done “

Lecturer Len- “Really proud of Ben, he looked through old cookbooks and modernised an old Charlie Trotter recipe, very impressed with his technical abilities but mostly with his flavours “

Scottish Salmon, watercress, asparagus and pea salad with watercress cream

Judge Mick “A clean and refreshing dish, perfectly cooked salmon with a great classical watercress dressing and watercress salad “

Judge Seymour “Salmon cooked perfectly with the classic pairing of watercress very clean looking dish well done”

2nd Place – Ellie Turner – South Lanarkshire College, Lecturer David Auchie

Watercress soup, crispy smoked haddock fish cake and a poached egg

Judge Mick “Vibrant colour of watercress in the soup, crispy texture of smoked haddock fish cake with the traditional finish of a poached egg.  Excellent combination of textures and flavours within this dish”

Judge Seymour “Vibrant coloured soup which naturally compliments smoked haddock well done”

3rd Place - George Johnson – Cheshire College South and West- Lecturer Angel Ralchev

The prize – 2 stunning engraved WUSTHOF knives – one for the winning Student and one the lecturer

Murray Chapman-Director “A Passion to Inspire “- “When you plan a competition you never know what response you will get – but I am absolutely blown away by all the hard work that all these young chefs have put into their dishes and the support they have had from brilliant lecturers – thank you 😊 “

Karl Pendlebury from AHDB said “ It is amazing to see the inspiration that has been brought to the table by talented students under the watchful eye of their dedicated lecturers, showcasing that Watercress in fact as an ingredient that brings many qualities to the a dish (and not just a garnish). The competition was brought to life by Murray Chapman of Passion to Inspire with the aim of encouraging young chefs to cook and work with watercress “

For more information about watercress recipes, visit: https://www.watercress.co.uk/.