Foodbuy sponsors the Oxford’s Junior Chef of the Year Competition

16 May 2023

Foodbuy sponsored the Oxford’s Junior Chef of the Year competition run by the City of Oxford Guild of Chefs, to discover and recognise talent across Oxfordshire.

We’re delighted to have sponsored the first Oxford’s Junior Chef of the Year competition, an event organised by the City of Oxford Guild of Chefs. The competition was created after recognising a gap in the market for chefs after a challenging time for the hospitality industry. The competition was aimed at attracting and rewarding both Oxford University college chefs and those working in restaurants, pubs and cafes around Oxfordshire. We are proud to play a part in this competition to discover and recognise new talent for the hospitality industry in Oxfordshire as well as for our client, the University of Oxford.

Discovering and recognising talent across Oxfordshire

11 candidates from across Oxfordshire took part in the competition. The brief was to cook four different contemporary canapes from scratch within 2 hours. Our supply partners based in Oxfordshire kindly donated locally produced ingredients for the competition. A team of eight professional chefs judged the candidates on kitchen performance and taste, including Foodbuy’s Culinary Director, Nick Vadis.

Congratulations to the following winners who picked up awards:

  • Overall winner: Asia Michelis from SAID Business School
  • Best vegetarian canapé:Joanna Carr from Somerville College 
  • Best fish canapé: Asia Michelis from SAID Business School
  • Best meat canapé: Max Fijak from Worcester College 
  • Best plant-based canapé: Elycia Raynerfrom New College 

Following their victory at the competition, the four finalists went on to serve their winning canapes at the City of Oxford Guild of Chef's gala dinner at Keble College for 200 guests. The finalists were awarded their awards and prizes, a Michelin-starred meal at the iconic Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. The overall winner won the additional prize of a cookery class at the renowned Raymond Blanc Cookery School.

Lucy Jones, Client Account Manager at Foodbuy commented: “It’s been a real privilege to be part of this competition, working with the team at the Guild of Chefs to bring this competition back to life. The hospitality industry has been through a tough time so to recreate this competition and bring new talent through the ranks has been great.”

City of Oxford Guild of Chefs Ben Gibbon said: “There is a big hole in the industry at the moment thanks to Brexit and Covid, which we need to fill. I hope the tide is turning but we are still struggling to employ people here in Oxfordshire. And while the City of Oxford Guild of Chefs was set up (in 1968) to shine a light on the catering going on within colleges, we are now extending that out to the whole industry in Oxfordshire to help try to solve this problem together.” 

Learn about our partnership with the University of Oxford here: