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Newmarket chef scoops first prize in regional competition

Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa’s commis chef, Crystal Newton, has won first prize in the Passion to Inspire 2018 hospitality competition, beating teams of young chefs from across the region.

Representing her college West Suffolk College, Newton worked in a team of three (two in the kitchen and one front-of-house) to create and serve the winning menu.

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West Suffolk College’s winning menu consisted of: Loch Duart salmon belly with lime, grapefruit, soy, peanut and avocado to start; Creedy Carver duck breast and duck fat pommeanna, with kibbeh, wild garlic, peas, broad beans, white asparagus and dukkah for mains; and apple tarte tatin with vanilla and calvados ice cream to finish.

While studying at the college, she also works as commis chef at Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa, supporting the executive head chef and wider kitchen team in crafting 2-AA Rosette winning menus in the hotel’s Squires restaurant.

Following their success, Newton and her fellow team members, Alex Cornwell and Will Shin, have been invited to attend the upcoming Skills for Chefs Conference in Sheffield, where they will enhance their hospitality knowledge even further, with the opportunity to learn from culinary masters such as Raymond Blanc, John Williams and Chantelle Nicholson.

The team has also been awarded a number of other prizes, including: accommodation and dinner at Titchwell Manor; chefs jackets and aprons from Russums; a college farm visit to Dingley Dell Pork Farm; and a day at Infusions Experience Development Kitchen.

Sean Melville, executive head chef, Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa, said: “Crystal has been working with us for eight months; she fits into the team so well and her passion for delivering outstanding culinary experiences to all of our valued patrons shines through her work.

“We’re excited for Crystal to continue to develop her impressive skill set, and are proud to have supported Crystal on her journey so far, we can’t wait to see what this exceptional young chef does next!”

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