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Students’ success at prestigious national cook-off

Posted: 16 March 2017

Catering and hospitality students from West Nottinghamshire College have proudly got through the main heats of one of the UK’s most prestigious catering competitions.

The Nestlé Toque d’Or competition set the challenge this year for contestants to firstly submit a recipe under the theme ‘Great Food, Great Life’, followed by a video presentation of the final dish and finally the task to cook for a panel of VIP judges.

Students Tim Foster and Robyn Colley who are students on the NVQ Level 3 Professional Cookery joined Alex Belcher, who is studying the NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality Supervision, to produce and serve a starter dish with salmon as its main element.

Their first task was to produce a brief video of them producing the dish, in which they explained why they had chosen it and where they sourced their ingredients from. This can be viewed here https://vimeo.com/198850686

They detailed the importance of eating two portions of oily fish each week and explained that they chose the vegetables from a local organic food shop – contributing to the local economy and causing less of an environmental impact.

The trio, who all study and work in the college’s commercial restaurant, were successful in getting their digital entry approved for the first stage of the competitions in January this year, ensuring them a place in the second stage of the competitions. This is when they were asked to cook for a panel of VIP judges at Trafford College in Manchester earlier this month.

Competing against five other teams of trainee catering and hospitality students from across the country, Robyn, Tim and Alex were challenged to create ten covers of the salmon dish for judges and formally present their gastronomic creation.

Although their entry won’t be going through to the national finals, their efforts have won them £500 for the college and each have cash prizes to spend with catering supplies company – Russums. The students also won specialist catering protective clothing.

Alex Belcher, 19, from Mansfield, said: “I enjoyed my experience at the competition. I felt my confidence was boosted from taking part in the competition and I felt proud to represent the college.

“I know that my team members enjoyed it and gained a lot of skills from it too.”

More about Toque D’Or

Nestlé Professional Toque D’Or began in 1989 and since then has evolved significantly to become one of the UK’s most prestigious catering competitions. Being part of this competition can change a student’s career, with the industry recognising that Toque D’Or students have demonstrated true passion and commitment.

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