This week saw Newcastle Racecourse flooded with chefs from all over the north east for the reputable NECTA Awards. The annual event attracts hundreds of people, all desperate to bag themselves a prestigious award from the North East Culinary & Trade Association.
The NECTA committee is made up of a wide selection of catering professionals, chefs, restaurateurs, lecturers and manufacturers who all give up their time voluntarily to work together to promote their passion for the food and drink industry. NECTA is the only independent association in the region to promote skills within the hospitality industry.
Peace and Loaf’s very own Cevat Robert Elat, known to staff and customers as Rob, landed himself the North East Chef of the Year award after wowing judges with his Wester Ross Salmon with Yuzu and Cucumber to start, Rib Cap of Grande Reserve Beef with BBQ Leeks, Heritage Potato and Dripping for the main course with Chocolate Textures, Hazelnut and Bergamot to end the dinner in style.
Rob from Blyth dedication to his art has seen him work with the likes of David Kennedy, prestigious venues such as Jesmond Dene House and Michelin Star restaurant The White Room at Seaham Hall before taking up his position with the respected Masterchef, the Professionals finalist Dave Coulson from Peace and Loaf.
The judges claimed that this year is the highest calibre of food that they have ever seen, with over 200 chefs entering the competition; Rob was delighted with his result. “I am extremely proud of this achievement and I can’t wait to take this experience back to Peace and Loaf. I’d also like to say thank you to my commis chef Richard Gray who supported me greatly over the last two days and even more so to my lovely wife Denise for her support during my lead up to this event.”
Dave Coulson, partner director and head chef at Peace and Loaf told us “The whole team at Peace and Loaf are delighted with Rob’s achievement and we are very proud of him. Hard work and weeks of preparation definitely paid off.”
All meat ingredients that were used by Rob in this two day competition were sourced from their local meat supplier Valley Farm, who also sponsored Rob for the day. There were many gasps and delight at the presentation of these dishes as well as the ingredients that were used, the dishes and table-wear all came directly from CCS and complemented the food perfectly.
Rob wasn’t the only face from Peace and Loaf to grace the competition at the weekend however. David Liew, the front of house manager at the famous restaurant, was judging the table setting competition, amongst Michelin Star chef Ian Macandrew, Tim Franklyn-Hayes and Emma Carlton who were there to judge the cooking talents of all contestants.
David told us: “The standard of something as small as place setting was out of this world, there was attention paid to every single detail and the tables would have enticed even the most stringent of critics. Even looking at the entrants from college pupils were up there with the professionals and it sure made the decision extremely difficult.”
Partner director Geeta Ral concluded: “I’d like to say a massive well done on behalf of myself, Dave, Neeta and Bob, (P&L owners) to Rob on this fantastic achievement. We’re all delighted he is part of the dedicated team at P&L and are proud of his achievements so far; here’s to the next award!”