Wirral Chef of the Year: Will the element of surprise help Dominic Pospisil of Gem take the title?
WILL the element of surprise help Dominic Pospisil take the Wirral Chef of the Year title?
The head chef at Gem, our third finalist this year, kept his dessert a mystery until competition night last Tuesday at the Heswall restaurant.
Diners were teased with the name “Strawberry Cocktail” – which was revealed to be a tangy lime sorbet on top of a strawberry daiquiri, mojito jelly and a tuille biscuit.
Before that, Dominic served up spiced courgette bhaji, carrot emulsion, carrot tip and coriander salad and roasted orange dressing.
His main course was breast of Goosnargh duck, beetroot and potato rosti, summer greens and a soured cherry and port reduction.
Dominic, 34, said he was pleased with his night’s work – and he had no regrets about keeping part of the menu under wraps until the night.
The Meols father-of-three said: “If you go for something to eat you don’t see what you’re going to eat first and that was the thinking behind it.
“I wanted that element of surprise.”
The dessert was praised by diners, who said the fruit flavours were refreshing and a good choice after the spicy starter and meaty main course.
This year all our finalists have been asked to make one vegetarian course – but Dominic’s menu included two.
There was also an emphasis on locally-sourced produce, with beetroot from Meols, potatoes from Claremont Farm, microherbs from Middlewich – and courgettes from Leasowe.
He said: “We had some good feedback and everyone seemed to be happy with it. A lot of people said it was a well-balanced meal.
“My starter was vegetarian and also the dessert, because I used agar instead of gelatin.
“If you run a restaurant you’ve got to cater for people’s needs.
“At the end of the day it comes down to getting the name out there but winning the competition would be a bonus.”
After a night of surprises Dominic had one final treat for diners at the end of the meal: bite-size pieces of orange flapjack to enjoy with their tea or coffee.
He said: “I just like flapjacks – it’s old-school and a bit of fun.
“You can judge me on my flapjacks any time!”
Find out who our fourth finalist in Wirral Chef of the Year 2011 is in next week’s Wirral News.
lThe Wirral Chef of the Year competition is a partnership between Wirral News and Wirral Council, Liverpool Community College, Wirral Metropolitan College and Wirral Farmers Market.