Competition finalists

Jude and Dave Koller SUS-150827-102011001

Jude and Dave Koller SUS-150827-102011001

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Owners of A Bexhill cafe say they are surprised and honoured to have reached the finals of a national food competition that will be judged live by celebrity chef Aldo Zilli in London next month.

Jude and Dave Koller of Wholesome Cafe, Wickham Avenue, are finalists in the Café Life Awards for the Café Sandwich Challenge.

Dave says he and his wife have been working hard for the past 18 months to get themselves and their independent cafe established and to be in the finals of a sandwich competition is testament to their loaf and devotion. “We make everything ourselves and try to use local produce where we can,” he said. “This is a great step for us and exciting for bexhill to be part of a national competition.”

The Café Sandwich Challenge is to design a new sandwich and beverage pairing. Dave and Jude will be preparing their sandwich and beverage pairing for judging before a live theatre audience at lunch at The Contemporary Food To Go Show, to be held at the Business Design Centre, Islington on September 24.

Dave says they have a buttylicious offering for the judges which they are not keeping under wraps. “Food and drink pairing is the hot topic in consumer cuisine right now. It’s the best way to stand out but you have to be absolutely on point with the quality and you have to offer an innovative and inspirational range.

“Technically it’s very difficult to design a new menu which pairs a sandwich to a beverage. It took a lot of head scratching, trial and several errors to come up with our final offering and we’re thrilled it has pleased the judges enough to get to the live final.”

“Our pairing is Chicken Mojito on Multiseed Bagel with a Rum & Ginger cocktail.”

Celebrity Chef and café entrepreneur Aldo Zilli will be head judge at the Cafe Life Awards along with a panel of industry experts.

Dave added: “It’s a real surprise and an honour to have made the final five.”