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croqvictorVictor Garvey of Rambla - he was pretty happy to have won

Every year the quality of entries to the annual Croqueta Challenge gets better and better and for this year's event, which took place at Ember Yard in Soho tonight, contestants were thrown a new challenge - to make both savoury and sweet croquetas for their entry.

Over the course of three hours, the judging panel, which consisted of yours truly along with Sunday Times Food Editor Lisa Markwell and Salt Yard Group's Georgina Laing (as well as the combined scores from everyone in the room as the fourth judge), ended up trying 14 croquetas in total. We had savoury ones featuring mussel and clam chowder and slowly braised goat shoulder. There were sweet varieties featuring everything from caramelised white chocolate to green mango, coconut and sticky rice.

But there could be only one winner. And this year it was a delighted Victor Garvey who won the top prize for Rambla. Ramba's chef Krisztian Palinkas came up with a doozy of a homage to Maccy D's apple pie - a caramel apple pie croqueta dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with a tonka bean ice-cream.

croqapplepieThe winning Rambla sweet croquetas

The two runners-up were Salt Yard and Aqua Nueva.

croqsaltyardSlowly braised and spiced oxtail croquetas with mojo picon sauce, pimento emulsion and a lemon cream from Salt Yard

croqlobsterGalician lobster with aruga caviar from Aqua Nueva

 Rambla's winning croquetas will be available on Ember Yard Restaurant’s menu for the next two weeks. All proceeds from their sales will go to the incredibly worthwhile charity Life Kitchen

 

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