We were blown away with the skill and creativity of the finalists in this new category of the Eat Sheffield Awards. It was quite amazing to see just how far out-of-the-box these guys could go!
The competition consisted of four challenging rounds:
Round 1 – Knowledge of Classics.
The bartenders had no idea which of 8 classic cocktails they would be asked to produce. It turned out to be the Harvey Wall Banger, and every one was fabulous!
Round 2 – Taste & Recognition
They each had to identify:
- the grape type and country of origin for two white and two red wines
- the beer type and region of four different beers
- which cocktails a given set of ingredients would go into
Round 3 - Creativity using MSK ingredients
Here they had to create their own cocktail to be used as a dessert replacement, using at least one of the following MSK ingredients: Sodium Alginate, Calcium Chloride, Hyfoamer, Xanthan Gum, Selection of Flavour Drops.
Their creations were quite ingenious with beautiful presentation all round.
- Mat Tilley, General Manager at Fancie, Ecclesall Road, created a Caramel Toffy Apple: vodka, caramel syrup, apple juice, apple pie flavour drops, citric acid to increase the flavour tones, and treacle. Crème anglaise whipped in a whipper gun with a bit of hyfoamer and some xanthan gum to create a warm crème anglaise foam. Finished with a little apple crisp.
- Adam Taylor from Napoleons Casino & Restaurant, Ecclesall Road, made a Rhubarb and Apple Crumble with vodka, morgan spice, vanilla syrup, apple pie flavour drops, fresh apple juice and a rhubarb foam. Reverse spherified custard bubbles were served on the side and the glass was rimmed with crumble.
- Adam Clark, manager of Urban 1/4, produced a Passion Fruit Fondant with a reverse spherified passion fruit bubble for the bottom of the glass, a chocolate mousse-like foam which had been baked to give it the flavour of a baked chocolate cake, before being blitzed back to a puree so you could drink it. All was topped with vodka, crème de cocao and a coffee espresso martini.
- Ben Schuulze – The York, Fulwood Road, made 'Cheeseboard': a beer jelly with cider caviar pearls and gin infused with blue cheese. He decanted smoke into a beautiful old-fashioned bottle, poured the gin through the smoke to smoke it and served with apple and jelly.
- Marian Holenka - Wig & Pen, Campo Lane created ‘Thyme Pearfect’: pear pate de fruit with a pear infused-with-thyme puree, presented on the side with a spiced pear vanilla vodka.
The results were all stunning and absolutely beautiful.
Round 4 – Development
Here the finalists had to create a welcome drink, suitable for both male and female, within the budget of £1.50.
The judging was truly extremely close as all five were impressively talented.
The winner will be announced at the Eat Sheffield Awards Dinner on Monday, 13th October, 2014.
Judging Panel: John Mitchell, Mitchell’s Wines Lesley Draper, food writer, Sheffield Telegraph Vicky Endersen, Development Chef, MSK Robert Hayward, Senior Lecturer, Hospitality Management SBS Niki Baker, Regional Engagement SBS