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School Students Impress Professionals in our 14-16 Catering Competition

This January saw the return of our annual 14-16 Catering Competition, giving local secondary school students a taste of what it’s like to be a restaurant chef.

The competition required students to show off their best culinary talents, designing their own dishes and cooking them under timed conditions in our Gallery Restaurant training kitchens.

Competitors with Chef Lecturer Sean Patterson, and guest judges Natalia and Julia

A total of twenty-one students entered the competition, submitting a description and picture of the dish they hoped to make in the final. From the fantastic entries received, six students were shortlisted to compete:

  • Ayon Touti-Evans from Fernhill School
  • Callum Chamberlain from Collingwood College
  • Cameron Aris from Court Moor School
  • Giles Walker from Denefield School
  • Lauren Casbierd from Woking High School
  • Sophie Bowdler from Robert Mays

For the final, students cooked their chosen dish under the watchful eye of judges, with family and friends viewing a live stream of the kitchen in the next room. They created a variety of impressive dishes – from beef wellington to roasted pheasant!

The competition dishes were judged by industry professionals. This year’s judges included Stephen Scuffell from the Craft Guild Of Chefs, and Natalia and Julia from the Heckfield Hotel.

The standard of food presented was incredible, with the entire panel of judges commenting how difficult it was to place the winners. Judge Stephen Scuffell commented that the food was “not far off what you’d expect to be served in restaurants”.

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All students received a certificate for their participation in the final, awarded to them by Vice Principal Helen Drewery. Bronze medals were awarded to two students; Giles and Callum, a silver medal was awarded to Ayon, and the gold place trophy was awarded to Lauren for her Chicken Thigh Curry.

Winner Lauren receiving her award from Vice Principal Helen Drewery

Programme Manager for Catering, Gwen Grace, commented that Lauren’s winning dish was “not far off of perfection”.

Lauren’s Winning Dish – Chicken Thigh Curry with a Mango and Coconut Smoothie

Congratulations to all students who took part – we can’t wait to see what next year’s contestants will serve up!

If you’d like to find out more about our range of catering courses, please see our pages for school leavers and adults. You can also attend one of our upcoming Open Events.

Our Gallery Restaurant is open to members of the public for lunch and dinner bookings. Take advantage of fine dining at affordable prices! Visit www.galleryrestaurant.co.uk to find out more.