Catering Students Cook Up Success

The culinary capabilities of the College’s catering students were on full display this February at Eastleigh College, where they took place in the Major International Culinary Challenge 2024.

Competing against 14 other young chefs in this live cooking challenge, the students had to exhibit their ingenuity by cooking innovative dishes. All this had to be done not only within a tight 50-minute time limit, but also in an unfamiliar kitchen environment with different equipment and live spectators! The College’s two talented competitors, Sadie Anderson and Abigail Smith, secured both 3rd and 4th place overall and earned prestigious silver awards for their dishes.

The competition brought together aspiring future chefs from across the region to test their skills in a real-world environment and experience one of the longest running young chef competitions in the UK. Sadie and Abigail demonstrated exceptional flair and commitment to culinary craftsmanship with their beautifully presented dishes, which impressed the judges, the spectators, and their lecturers alike. Both Sadie and Abigail embarked on their culinary journeys from studying home economics at GCSE to now pursuing their dreams of becoming accomplished chefs.

Looking ahead, Sadie aims to continue her career in restaurants, refining set menu offerings while infusing them with her own inventive twists. Meanwhile, Abigail aspires to elevate her creativity by working in Michelin-starred restaurants, where she can curate her own signature dishes.

Principal CEO, Virginia Barrett reflected on the success, saying: “This achievement is a testament to the calibre of talent and hard work nurtured by our experienced and dedicated catering team at Farnborough College of Technology and reinforces our commitment to excellence in culinary education. Well done to Sadie and Abigail, we are sure that you will flourish in your future pursuits.”

When Gwen Grace, Assistant Principal heard the results, she said: “I could not be prouder of our students’ exceptional performance at this year’s Major International Culinary Challenge. We hope that this will encourage other students to have confidence in their skills and seize these exciting opportunities.”

Ian Elson, Hospitality Lecturer, commented on the run-up to the competition: “Our courses equip students like Abigail and Sadie with the skills needed for variety of culinary settings. We regularly challenge them to perform under time constraints, fostering resilience under pressure – skills crucial not only in real-world scenarios, but also for competitive occasions like this.”

Speaking on her decision to lay the foundations for her career in gastronomy, Abigail shared: “After excelling in food technology in secondary school and achieving a grade 9, I was eager to expand my knowledge and skills, which led me to studying catering here.”

Whether you are an aspiring chef or brilliant baker, the College encourages you to join students like Abigail and Sadie and explore the possibilities that Farnborough offers. View our range of apprenticeships and qualifications.

Abigail’s Mediterranean Smoked Chicken of the Forest dish.
Sadie’s Oriental Chicken dish.
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