Sidney's Head Chef, Stephen Mather, representing Cambridge Colleges won the prestigious TUCO Chef of the Year event winning a Gold Medal at the Hotelympia Exhibition at EXCEL, London on Wednesday 20th January 2008. Stephen beat off stiff competition in the finals from executive Chefs from universities including Oxford, York, Derby, Nottingham, Leeds, Aston, Kiel and Sheffield. Stephen Mather was required to prepare a 3-course meal suitable for a Dean and VIP guests. He was ably assisted by a young Chef, Phillip Crouch also from Sidney Sussex College. All dishes had to be prepared from raw ingredients, cooked and served within a 90-minute period.

The competition was judged by a panel of international celebrity chefs and culinary Olympians including Michael Kitts from the Emirates Academy in Dubai and Kevin Viner, a previous Chef of the Year. The judges were seeking a Chef who could balance the tastes, textures and presentation required for fine-dining with the ability to provide excellence in cost-sector catering for students.

Stephen said "It was a gruelling day of competition starting at 4am when we picked fresh herbs from the College Gardens just in time to set out for London. The competition was red hot and I knew the strongest challenge would be from Oxford."

Kevin Keohane the Chairman of the Cambridge College Catering Managers said "Stephen has turned in an awesome performance - it's great news for Cambridge Colleges and Sidney Sussex in particular."

The menu featured the best of local produce from Cambridgeshire including a secret ingredient: honey from the gardens of Christ's College.

The winning menu was:


Seared Scallop Courgette and Lemon Risotto Parmesan

Veloute of Fennel


Rack of Lamb in a College Herb and Honey Glaze

Blackpudding with Caramelized Pears

Wilted Greens & Sweet Potato Champ

Port Wine Reduction


Apple Souffle with a Scrumpy Cider Yoghurt Ice Cream


This is an archived news story, first posted in 2008.

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