Hedge End’s Sainsbury’s Chef in Cook-off with Two Saints Chef
By Caroline_W | Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 17:02
It was gloves on – oven-gloves – for the cook-off between Hedge End’s Sainsbury’s and homeless charity Two Saints when their two chefs battled it out for the privilege of cooking for a charity dinner to raise funds for Two Saints, the superstore’s chosen charity of the year.
Sainsbury's PR Ambassador Kathy Lewis with Two Saints chef Pete Ryan
Sainsbury's Chef Manager Justin Guest
The winning team - Two Saints' Pete Ryan and volunteers Simon and Steve
Sainsbury’s staff Chef Manager Justin Guest and Two Saints’ Catering Manager Pete Ryan were each asked to create and cook a three-course Indian meal, with each dish judged by a ten-strong panel which included representatives from Business in the Community, local community radio and Sainsbury’s management, plus Justin Guest’s 7 DayCatering boss, the owners of a local Indian restaurant, the Chief Executive of Two Saints, and ... me.
Both chefs went in ‘feeling confident’ and each more than ably supported by two volunteers, and I can report that every single dish (tasted blind) was mouth-wateringly delicious.
And I can also report that voting was extremely tight.
But by the end of the afternoon the winning menu had been decided:
A trio of mulligatawny soup, chicken tikka skewers, and prawn and scallop in coconut masala sauce (created and cooked by Justin Guest from Sainsbury’s)
Sea-bass served with curried aubergine and courgette sauce and accompanied with saffron rice (created and cooked by Two Saints’ Pete Ryan)
Almond and vanilla crème brulee
AND (because we just couldn’t choose between the puddings)
Chocolate and orange tart
The brulee was Pete Ryan’s, the tart Justin Guest’s.
And the winning trio of cooks?
Pete Ryan and his team, Two Saints’ residents Simon and Steve, and who gained slightly more votes overall than the Sainsbury’s team.
Peter Ryan has been working at Two Saints for four years. He said, “It’s a brilliant job, the best I’ve ever had.” But cooking for a charity dinner with a guest list of over 100 should prove no problem for him as he explained, “I’m used to doing regimental dinners as I worked at the military base at Worthy Down.”
Volunteer Steve commented, “Simon roped me into this, but it’s been great fun. We’ve been taking part in something different and interacting with different people.”
Chief Executive of Two Saints, Louise Barnden, said, “It’s fantastic that Hedge End’s Sainsbury’s has chosen Two Saints as their charity of the year.
“This was Sainsbury’s staff’s idea to get the two catering teams together and include hostel residents.
“It helps to break down barriers and the misconceptions some people hold about the residents here at St Patrick’s. It’s also helped change the way we view Sainsbury’s – we can see that they’re not simply a big corporate organisation out to make money.
“It’s good to dispel myths.”
The charity dinner will be held in the new year and to read about other ways in which the superstore is supporting Two Saints see Hedgeendpeople’s Hedge End’s Sainsbury’s Help the Homeless in Southampton.
St Patrick’s hostel is in Millbrook, Southampton, and Two Saints works across Hampshire, West Berkshire and Oxfordshire, supporting up to 200 clients in Southampton and the surrounding area. The charity, set up in 2001, provides accommodation, support and learning services for single people who find themselves homeless, with the aim of helping their clients to rebuild their lives, and find a home and employment.