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Kitchen Inferno

Can't stand the heat?

At Michelin starred chef Shaun Rankin's kithcen Inferno event, two teams of novice chefs battled it out over the ovens, raising money for Jersey Cheshire Home as they cooked up a storm. Rankin had his work cut out when he had to direct the two teams as they prepared a feast for their discerning guests. Which menu would the guests choose? And which team - red or blue -would deliver on the night?

The Blue Islands team - in blue, of course - was captained by our very own Rob Veron, supported by Jersey personalities Hannah Jacques, David Lord, Peter Mac, Harry McRandle, Sally MintyGravett and Kevin Pamplin. Highlands Academy student chef Rebecca De Sousa was on hand to assist. The red Airtel-Vodafone team were led by Tim Bond, accompanied by Sophia Bird, Ben Davies, James Filleul, Brian McCarthy, Peter Shirreffs and Derek Warwick - ably supported by student chef Nathan Vibert.

Preparation began long before the event itself, as the teams got together to create their menus. The fact that they were not professional chefs did not stop either cohort from deciding on ambitious dishes: both menus featured two choices of starters, mains and desserts and were a far cry from home cooking. Highlights of the red team's menu included ceviche tuna, roasted canon of lamb and chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream and brittle. The blue team promised delights such as beetroot carpaccio, Asian monkfish en papillote and classic lemon tart with basil sorbet.

As the would-be chefs started prepping their concoctions, Shaun warned them that he expected them to keep their workspace clean and tidy and impressed upon them that '90% of cooking is about organisation.' Following a slip of the knife, Blue Islands captain Rob Veron was soon accessorising his chef's whites with a little extra blue - in the form of catering plasters - but his team emerged victorious when the scores from the 50 diners and Shaun were combined.

Rob was thrilled when the blue team won and the experience certainly opened his eyes to the fact that a chef's role is a challenging one.

It was one of the most testing days of my life, but also one of the most amazing things I have ever done," he said. "For our team to win really was the icing on the cake. It has given me a wonderful insight into how hard a successful kitchen needs to work, with such precise timings and a great deal of teamwork. I'd like to thank Shaun for his guidance and support throughout the experience and say a huge thank you and congratulations to the rest of the team.

Shaun added:

It's been a turbulent and awe-inspiring night. The teams really gave it their all; I don't know if they had any idea how challenging it would be. I take my hat off to both teams but the Blue Islands Team and their leader Rob Veron were the champions, it was teamwork that really pulled them through. There's literally been blood, sweat and tears but everyone is so proud of what has been achieved on behalf of Jersey Cheshire Home.

Money raised from Shaun Rankin's Kitchen Inferno will go towards Le Masurier Managing Director Brian McCarthy's Sponsorship. His efforts have already helped to raise over £15,000 so far this year for Jersey Cheshire Home.

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