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24 May 2006 PR 06/55

Local chef scoops two national awards

imago at Burleigh Court, one of the UK’s top flight hotel and conference centres, based on Loughborough University campus, is celebrating the news that its Head Chef, Andy Grant, has scooped two coveted national Chefs Challenge awards.

Andy, 32, who lives in Sileby, has worked at Burleigh Court since 1997, working his way up from chef de partie. He was selected from hundreds of chefs from over 40 conference centres throughout the UK. His menu of pan-fried sea scallops with lemongrass and coriander, seared fillet of Scotch beef with baby vegetables and a truffle scented Marquise potato followed by hot bitter chocolate and orange pudding with an orange Curaçao fudge sauce was shortlisted in April.

Andy then competed in an ‘against the clock’ cook-off where he was awarded the Gold Medal for his starter and the Silver Medal for Best Overall Meal. The judging panel was headed up by Graham Crump, Chairman of the British Culinary Federation, who comments, “Despite the demands of this prestigious competition, this year’s finalists once again produced exceptional results.”

“Everyone in imago is thrilled for Andy, particularly as this is the first time he has ever entered a chefs’ competition”, says Kay England, Chief Executive at imago at Burleigh Court. She continues, “Many of the competitors enter such prestigious competitions year on year, so for Andy to walk away with two prizes is simply outstanding.”

Now in its eighth year, the Chefs Challenge is an annual competition open to all chefs from members of the Conference Centres of Excellence and International Association of Conference Centres consortia. Only the UK’s leading dedicated conference providers, with the highest standards of facilities, service and cuisine, are eligible to join these organisations.

Andy’s tremendous achievement coincides with the unveiling this month of new facilities as part of Burleigh Court’s £8.5 million expansion. Now in its final stage, the luxury conference centre features 225 bedrooms including an executive suite wing, 24 top specification meeting and training rooms, an extended lounge, private dining area, increased parking facilities and an outstanding expansion of the leisure and spa facilities at Burleigh Springs.

ENDS

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Notes to editors

  1. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

    In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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