College Commis Cooks Her Way to Paris and the Development Day of a Lifetime

A young commis chef from Shrewsbury College has been crowned winner of Coup de pates’ Chefs at Play competition in a tense final judging day held at the company’s central London development kitchens.

Emily Moorhouse, 22, was chosen from scores of entries into the competition, calling on 16-26 year-olds to create the next big canapé or reception product. 

Emily’s creation, Coup de pates Choux Pastry Profiteroles with Clementine Crème Patisserie, Gingerbread Foam, Pumpkin Shards and Liquorice Crumb, was judged as the stand-out recipe on the day which saw a judging panel, including Coup de pates chef ambassadors, James Tanner and Thomas Leatherbarrow, recreating five finalist’s paper recipes and photographic entries.

With five highly innovative recipes on show, competition was tense, but in the end judges were unanimous, bowled over by the weight of Emily’s craft, skill, and keen eye for flavour pairings and balance. In winning the competition, Emily has booked herself on an exclusive, late-January development trip to Coup de pates’ Paris HQ, where she will work with the company’s artisan chefs to create a brand new product for the UK foodservice market. 

Two runners-up, Eleny Islay Minto, a part-time pastry chef at University College Birmingham and Alice Prothero an apprentice chef at Darlington’s Houndgate Townhouse, will receive UK-based development days.



In the wake of the win, Emily commented: “I’m almost speechless, each entry was so strong that I genuinely thought I didn’t have a chance, but I’m so glad I took the time to enter. Now, to get the opportunity to travel to Paris and learn from the Coup de pates chefs as well as James and Thomas, it’s massive and I cannot wait!” 

Head of Marketing and Product Development for Coup de pates, Mariam French, comments:

“Congratulations to Emily for a win that was as impressive as it was merited. Seeing her creation brought to life in our development kitchens and getting to taste the delicate subtleties of flavour, really hit-home exactly why she should be crowned winner.

“Chefs at Play was all about creativity; seeing a spark of innovation go from paper to reality, and Emily will now get to experience that process first-hand – an incredible opportunity which she fully deserves.

“A huge thank you to all our finalists and everyone who entered. The sheer weight of innovative ideas on show throughout the process goes a long way to demonstrating that the UK is alive with young talent. Hopefully in continuing to create opportunities for them to thrive, we can, as an industry, ensure that their development is overseen in the right way.”    

Forming the first instalment of Coup de pates’ Chef’s de l’Avenir programme launched in October last year, Chefs at Play set out to give young talent an opportunity to flourish. The first round of the competition called for entrants to submit a recipe for a brand new canapé or reception product using one of its premium semi-prepared range, including Choux Pastry Profiterole Shells, Filo Pastry Sheets, Mini Macaroon Shells and Savoury Tartelette Cases, as a base.  

Entries were then whittled down to five finalists, each tasked with making and photographing their dish to bring their paper entries to life.


  • Emily Moorhouse, commis chef, Shrewsbury College – Profiteroles with Clementine Crème Patisserie, Gingerbread Foam, Pumpkin Shards, Liquorice Crumb

Runners-up: (Images from left to right)

  • Alice Prothero, apprentice chef, Houndgate Townhouse, Darlington – Waldorf Salad Macaroon
  • Eleny Islay Minto, part-time pastry chef, University College Birmingham – Salted Cashew Butter and Greek Yoghurt Tartelette, Infused with Lime
  • Shaun Longmire, self-employed pastry chef – Italian Clementine & Chocolate Inside Out Macaroon
  • Jack Ellingham, chef, Climpson’s Arch, Hackney – Apple Terrine, Arlette Pastry and Brown Butter Ice Cream, Sour Caramel




Date Posted: 18th January 2016