Chefs from Sidney Sussex College have won a chance to be crowned the best University caterers in Britain after a challenging inter-college cook-off on Friday.

The team of three chefs beat off stern competition from Emmanuel and Girton and will now carry Cambridge's hopes at a national University cooking competition in March.

The qualifying event, which took place at Christ's College on Friday, followed weeks of practice. The teams had to cook and serve a four-course meal consisting of a fish soup, rack of lamb, pre-dessert and a dessert containing apple within just two hours and 20 minutes.

The triumphant Sidney Sussex team - Stephen Mather (head chef), and chefs John Bridgeman and Phillip Crouch - wooed the judges with a menu that included smoked haddock and watercress soup with a tortellini of shellfish, and warm apple tart tatin with a cinnamon and scrumpy creme fraiche ice cream.

The event was adjudicated by a panel of top chefs, including Lee Corke, the Captain of the British Culinary Federation Team.

Sidney Sussex will now represent Cambridge at the University Catering Organisation Competition, which will be held in Blackpool in March, where they will compete against chefs from across the UK.

Kevin Keohane, Chairman of the College Catering Managers, said: "It's tremendous to see such a high level of culinary excellence in the Colleges. My congratulations go to Sidney Sussex and to all the chefs who took part and created some outstanding dishes."

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

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