A Culinary Success

West Ham have come third in the Major Culinary Football Challenge, a bi-annual event of which this year's competition in the class, held at the Hotel Olympia, was the inaugral contest.

The challenge, in front of a panel of international judges, was to cook a three course meal in 75 minutes that would be suitable for the chairman of the club and Sven-Goran Eriksson with a team of three chefs.

Not that they were actually there, of course!

Steve Fletcher, the Executive Head Chef, was not allowed to prepare anything in advance with his team; everything had to be done on-site.

He went for assiette of salmon, canon of Welsh lamb with fondant potatoes and bubble and squeak, braised vegetables, and a mango cream tea for dessert.

All the teams were cooking at once in an unfamiliar kitchen, so Steve and his team had to quickly familiarise himself with the lay-out.

"It was good to meet the other chefs," says Steve, who works at the club full time, "and we all had a little chat."

You can taste the fruits of Steve's labours at the Ironworks restaurant at Upton Park, and Steve says:

"It is a good place to work; I particularly enjoy match days and private parties.

"And in two years' time we will be looking for the gold medal!"