La Parade des Chefs

Competition details

The competition will be to serve 100 diners in a staggered restaurant service over a two hour service period, delivering exceptional, consistent food. The team of 6 chefs have to deliver a 3 course menu to show judges, diners and industry peers a true scenario of a realistic restaurant service. When submitting menus all applicants should demonstrate how the ingredients cost of the menu should produce a gross profit of 68% (Selling price £35.00 per cover).  

New Rules

In a change to previous years teams will be allowed to prepare 60% of each part of the menu in advance showing the judges just 40% of the production. An example would be if using a fondant potato 60 portions could be pre-cut and 40 portions cut at the show, this needs to happen for all individual items of preparation. This is to allow teams more time to concentrate on delivering a well thought out menu, cooked well, with fantastic flavours, served hot and delivered in the allotted time. Judges will be taking all this criteria in to consideration when marking.

Menu Content

First course can be hot or cold, but soup not allowed.

Main course to incorporate vegetable garnish, separate vegetable service not required.

Dessert can be hot or cold.

Teams must be prepared to accommodate any vegetarian/vegan requests and the dishes must be in keeping with the menu.

Mise en Place Allowed

As described above 60% of all mise-en-place can be made in advance for the remaining 40% basic peeled vegetables and stocks are allowed.

When choosing your menu avoid dishes that require lengthy cooking, pre-curing or marinating, as judges will be asked to take a view on whether the skills and preparation to the dish completed off site should be reflected in the marks.

All mise-en-place will be checked by the judges at the start of the competition.

Team Members

Teams should comprise six chefs plus one kitchen porter (the KP should not be dressed in chef whites, and must not assist in any food preparation, cooking or serving). All chefs can participate in the preparation for the lunch and one competitor to be identified as the team captain. The team captain will be responsible to liaise between kitchen and service, answer any questions raised by the judges and arrange for the presentation dishes of the meal to be set in the show cabinet by 11am.

New Daily Competition

Each day 2 x teams from one of the following sectors will compete – Hotels and Restaurants, Food Service, National and International Teams, Associations and Military Service – and that day’s winner will be crowned daily sector champion. The winning team from each day will go on to possibly be crowned overall La Parade des Chefs champions.

Confirmation of Team

Successful teams will be confirmed by the Chef Director as soon as possible after the close of entry deadline of 13th November 2015.

Arrival Time 

Teams can access the kitchen from 0700hrs and will commence work at 0800hrs.

Kitchen Equipment

All teams will be sent a layout of the kitchen that they will be working in once their place in La Parade des Chefs has been confirmed. Teams should provide their own small equipment. Wash up facilities for china, cutlery and glassware will be provided. All teams will be responsible for cleaning down equipment and kitchen at the end of service. Results will not be finalised until a final inspection is completed. Points may be deducted if the competition kitchen is not left as would be expected or any equipment is missing.

Hygiene Products


Cleaning chemicals such as sanitisers, degreasers and washing up liquid will be provided by Ecolab.

Cling Film, Foil and Baking Paper will be provded by Wrapex.

Products Provided

Bread Rolls, Butter, Coffee and Tea will be provided.

Table Top

All china, cutlery and glassware will be provided through sponsorship, and teams will be sent details once their place is confimred in the competition.

Teams to Provide

All ingredients for their three-course menu (an allowance towards food costs of £550 will be paid on the day of the competition)

Cold Display

One plate of each course to be presented cold for the display case.

Service Times

Service will be in three sittings – 1230hrs, 1300hrs and 1330hrs.

Front of House

Colleges will service the restaurants with students daily.


Two additional plates of each course need to be served to the judges, which will be taken at random with no prior notice. Judging will take place in a closed room adjacent to La Parade des Chefs .

What are judges looking for?

The judges will be looking for the team that demonstrates a professional approach to the task, following the criteria of the competition, plus show an excellent range of skill sets both in the kitchen, and also in working closely with the service team. Dish composition, in flavour, taste, presentation and execution of all 3 courses on a consistent basis. From the first to last customer, concentrating on delivering cold food cold and hot food hot and meeting the service expectations of the customers.


Each team will receive a full de-brief after their service is complete.


All competitors should have sustainability as a key focus when participating in La Parade des Chefs.

This should include the following -:

Food ingredients: Do not bring excessive amounts of ingredients, resulting in unnecessary food wastage, plus an inflated and unrealistic cost for your menu.

Seasonality: All menus should be written with seasonality plus using products from sustainable sources in mind.

Equipment: Consider the most energy-efficient equipment necessary to cook your menu, use it correctly, and turn it off promptly when you have finished, to achieve a good level of energy efficiency.

Hygiene Products/Disposables: Do not use more than is necessary, think of the cost implications that an excessive use of these products would have in a real working kitchen, and consider the impact on the environment.

Waste Disposal/Recycling: Separate bins for meat waste, other food waste and other general waste/packaging etc will be provided for each team to use; all competitors should ensure these facilities are used correctly.

Please do not dismiss this criteria, all teams competing in La Parade des Chefs, should aim to mirror a real-life restaurant scenario, as closely as possible. All of these sustainability themes would have an impact on any restaurant’s turnover and subsequent profits, so should be incorporated as part of your planning of menus, food preparation and service. Teams will lose marks for not following these instructions.

Presentation of awards –


Salon Culinaire Awards Ceremony 1715hrs, at Live Theatre on the day of competition, the daily sector champion will also be announced here.

Overall La Parade des Chefs team of Hotelympia will receive their award at the final awards ceremony on Thursday 3rd March at 1430hrs.

Entry into the show

All competitors and colleagues must register online as a Salon Culinaire Competitor at www.hotelympia.com/salon. Passes will be emailed direct.

Arriving at the show and accessing the hall

Hotelympia is in the South Hall at ExCeL at the East end of the venue. Please proceed to the Lorry Marshalling Yard and go to the Traffic Administration Office. On production of your Salon Culinaire Vehicle Pass (which will be sent to you) you will be directed to the lorryway to gain access to Vehicle Door S22, which is closest to La Parade des Chefs for unloading. There will be parking available here for one vehicle per team. Any additional vehicles must be moved  after unloading to the Undercroft Car Park.