Local chefs face each other in cook-off for Foodie Awards
July 18, 2021

After months of planning and preparation, we’re on the home straight for the inaugural Foodie Awards!

The awards will culminate on Thursday (July 22nd) with an event at The Box at FarGo Village in Coventry, with winners of a whole range of categories from Best Newcomer to Best Artisan Producer announced.

But first, four local chefs fought it out for the title of Best Chef/Cook in a Masterchef-style cook-off judged by Glynn Purnell and local restaurateur Andreas Antona, who owns The Cross in Kenilworth.

Held at The Farm in Snitterfield, the cook-off saw all four chefs cook their signature dish and present it to the chefs. They included George Cambridge from Warwick Street Kitchen in Leamington Spa, Jay Alam of Turmeric Gold in Coventry, Tobias Reutt of Earlsdon Supper Club and Baabzi Miah from Baabzi’s Indian Takeaway in Warwick.

George cooked his signature dish – Warwick Street Kitchen’s take on shakshuka, with smoked feta, Dukkah, Ras el Hanout oil and garlic butter flatbread, while Baabzi made his grandfather’s recipe of Fish Haryal with pilau rice.

Tobias, who has run Earlsdon Supper Club for two years, cooking for guests in his own home using ingredients from his allotment, prepared pork cheek with caramelised fennel, fennel puree and Malloreddus. Jay Alam, of Turmeric Gold, chose a favourite home dish of Bengali roast chicken in caramelised onion and tamarind sauce with beetroot puri.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought it was a thrill to see some great chefs do their thing in front of some of the biggest names in restaurants from our area. For an inaugural awards year, which has come amid a global pandemic, it’s been a big effort to encourage as many businesses to get involved and as one of the organisers, I can’t wait to see this grow and have even more local chefs and establishments involved.

Following the cook-off Glynn Purnell, who is bringing a new restaurant to Coventry next year, said: “It’s great to be here to see some excellent cooks. The dishes showcased some different styles of food and cooking which is always interesting and is what reflects the food culture of this area. We’ve had some interesting flavours and great techniques and for the first of these awards, for these guys to come and cook in these conditions has been tremendous. Well done to everyone and good luck to the Foodie Awards.”

Andreas Antona added: “It’s exciting to be involved with the first Foodie Awards in Warwickshire and I’d love to see this grow. It’s something that the area and the industry needs, especially going forwards in the post-COVID

The Foodie Awards 2021, in partnership with Warwickshire County Council and Visit Coventry, was set up to recognise an array of food and drink businesses from producers to chefs, street food traders, restaurants and bars.