Judging the pre-HORECA cooking competition

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A few weeks ago, I got asked by one of my students to be a judge for the HORECA selection competition at university. Let me explain further; I teach digital marketing at Saint-Joseph University and I have, among my students, the Hospitality Management students. Each year, they participate in HORECA cooking competitions and win almost unequivocally the Gold and First Gold medals.

I was assigned to the sandwiches category and was judging along the brilliant Chef Adnan Khoury. While he was checking everything from hygiene, students’ motivation, presentation and taste, I was mainly focused on the taste of the sandwiches and the balance of ingredients in them. All participants had of course the same sandwich to prepare, so that we could easily compare who made the best one. The ingredients they had were chicken, poached quail eggs, arugula, double-crème cheese, cornichons, brown bread and an avocado paste. The whole secret for the success of the sandwich was based on the latter that they had to prepare from avocado, mayonnaise, aioli, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.

Needless to say that all sandwiches were absolutely delicious, because the selection of the ingredients was an all-star. But most of them had too much garlic, or too much salt or too much lemon juice in their avocado paste. One student however had hit the jackpot and the absolute perfect balance of ingredients. His avocado paste was impeccable. The avocado wasn’t overthrown by the weight of garlic or lemon juice, so it mixed perfectly well with the chicken, eggs and cheese.

I recently found out that based on our grades, it was this student who was selected to participate in HORECA. I cannot wait to see what he will be preparing then and I am sure he will ace the balance of ingredients to present a true delicacy to HORECA judges.

Featured photo credited to Michel El Esta.