Portsmouth chef brings home the silver


Portsmouth hospital chef Dave Smith has been awarded a silver medal at a prestigious regional cooking competition.

Dave, based at St Mary’s Community Health Campus, was praised for his chicken chasseur dish at the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) Wessex branch’s Salon Culinaire 2024.

The French bistro favourite won Dave a silver medal and certificate in the competition’s saute chicken class.

His boss, Ronnie Parrett-Harris, Assistant Catering Manager at Solent NHS Trust, said: “The standard on the day was incredibly high.

“Dave did really well to work in an unfamiliar environment with three industry renowned judges looking on.

“The pressure was on but Dave smashed it and took the silver medal for the saute chicken class.

“Everyone at Solent is so proud of him. Dave really enjoyed the day and hopefully this will inspire him to get involved in more events like this in the future.”

The competition, held at Newlyns Cookery School near Hook, aims to raise the bar in culinary skills by getting NHS chefs out of their comfort zones.

Dave’s class was judged by Philip Shelley , Senior Operational Manager at NHS England, John Feeney, Culinary and Innovation Director at Griffith Foods, and Phil Yeomans, Executive Chef at Lainston House Hotel near Winchester.

In total, there were 35 entries in nine categories.

Ronnie, HCA Wessex branch Chair, said the event was a chance for chefs to showcase their skills and talents, and hopefully develop a thirst to enter more competitions.

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