After a successful run in 2018 the Chef's Challenge came back to local eateries right across the city. This friendly competition is part of an ongoing campaign from Glasgow Community Food Network to get more locally sourced seasonal city veg onto the plates of Glaswegians.
Produce was sourced from Glasgow’s urban farms, market gardens, allotments and community gardens. Restaurants across Glasgow were given a box of the same vegetables and fruits. A team of judges visited the restaurants in pairs to sample the creations of the chefs. This was scored for creativity, taste, presentation, veg-centred-ness and the sustainability of other ingredients.
The 8 top scoring chefs were invited to a final at City of Glasgow College in a masterchef style cook off judged by Gary MacLean and Cate Devine.
Chefs in the final included Dimora, Ox and Finch, That's Yer Dinner, Sprigg, The 78 Bar and Kitchen, Eusebi's Deli, Kaf Coffee & Bakery, Hella Food & Wine and The Flavabomb Project.
The chefs dishes were judged against 5 criteria including creativity, presentation, taste, skill and being ‘veg-centred’.
There was a real mix of chefs and growers representing the diverse food culture of our city.
“This competition is a chance for Glasgow’s chef's to showcase their talents and make locally grown veg the star of the show!” - Gary McLean
“Being a judge on last year's inaugural Chefs' Challenge was a revelation for me. This year's Challenge reinforced my conviction that this is an amazing and unique culinary competition that showcases the passion and skill of Glasgow's chefs and growers. Together they have the power to transform the city's poor dietary reputation and show the world that it has a more positive story to tell.” - Cate Devine
"In bringing the local growers and chefs together GCFN hope to create relationships that can contribute to a stronger and more resilient local food economy. We are currently co-developing Glasgow’s Food Strategy which will be a routemap for Glasgow to become a sustainable food city. This competition is part of that." - Abi Mordin, Chair at Glasgow Community Food Network.
It was a really close final of very high standards but the fabulous fresh seasonal veggie risotto dish from Sebastian Wereski at Eusebi's edged it past the rest!
“I’m delighted to have won Glasgow Community Food Network’s Chef’s Challenge this year. This competition is an amazing opportunity to showcase some of Glasgow’s best home-grown food and have a lot of fun along the way. Using local produce is so important to the whole team at Eusebi’s, and anything we can do to encourage more people in Glasgow to make the most of the amazing fruit and veg on our doorsteps is a winner as far as we are concerned.” - Winner Sebastian
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Our food system needs a radical shake up. These changes need to be driven by everyone involved in food - growers and producers, chefs and cooks, people working in the food industry, customers and citizens.
Food has a big part to play in tackling our global climate crisis - a shift to more local production and eating is essential now more than ever. The recent IPCC report on land use, food and farming points to the need for a global food system that is better for the planet and better for health. Glasgow Food Policy Partnership is leading on creating a Food Strategy for Glasgow, which will tackle food insecurity while creating a route map for a more sustainable food city.
Glasgow has an amazing, thriving food scene with thousands of people employed in the sector and eating out every day. Visitors to our city seek out the very best places to wine and dine. What better way than to share Glasgow’s home grown food? We have the power to make change happen.