House of Commons chefs Matt Jones (Sous Chef) and Andrew Ditchfield (Head of Pastry) competed as a part of the senior English Culinary Team at this year’s 2016 World Culinary Olympics in Germany, taking away gold and bronze medals. The Culinary Olympics, held every four years, see more than 2,000 professional chefs compete in 30 national and 20 junior teams over the course of four days. This year’s competition took place from 23-26 October in Erfurt, Germany.
As part of the English Team, the House of Commons chefs participated in two categories within the Olympics. The team won gold in the Restaurant of Nations category, coming ahead of 14 other national teams in this part of the competition. They were also awarded bronze in the international buffet, coming away with an overall silver medal for the competition and placing 16th in the world.
Andrew is the resident head Pastry Chef in the House of Commons and manages a team of five chefs responsible for all pastry items across a range of restaurants and event venues in the House of Commons. This includes afternoon teas available to the public as an optional addition to tours of Parliament. Matt works as the Sous Chef for several House of Commons restaurants, as well as for private receptions and dinners hosted in House of Commons venues. This includes pop up dining events which allow members of the public to dine in restaurants usually open only to MPs and their guests, the next of which, on 9 November 2016, has sold out.
Mark Hill, Executive Chef at the House of Commons, said:
“I’d like to congratulate both Andrew and Matt on their fantastic achievement at the World Culinary Olympics this week. They have spent four years preparing and working with the English culinary team and it’s an honour to have such talented and skilled chefs as part of the House of Commons catering team.”
Peter Griffiths MBE, President, British Culinary Federation, said:
“The British Culinary Federation is delighted with the success of England’s Senior and Junior Culinary Teams at the Olympics in Erfurt. Everyone has worked and trained exceptionally hard to achieve this excellent result. The senior team winning Gold medal against 30 other nations highlights the incredible talent we have in this country and the national team. All chefs have been totally focused and committed to flying the culinary flag for England and none of this could have been achieved without their professionalism and the support of our National Sponsors.”