Pictured from left to right: Lee Corke, head judge, Ben Scandrett, front-of-house, David Jarret, chef, Philip Bayliss, chef and Sarah Igglesden, trade marketing manager at Brakes.
Budding young chefs and maitre d’s from Stratford-upon-Avon have been rated among the best in the UK in a prestigious national catering competition, which is designed to identify future stars.
Three catering and hospitality students from Stratford-upon-Avon College reached the final and took third place of the British Culinary Federation (BCF) ‘Student Challenge Cook & Serve Team of the Year’, sponsored by Brakes – the UK’s leading provider of food for the catering industry.
The intensive competition, hosted at Stratford-upon-Avon College, saw the students demonstrate their cooking, presentation and service skills in front of an expert panel of judges, including a Michelin-starred chef. The local heroes went head-to-head with eight other colleges from across the UK, all vying to win one of the country’s toughest catering challenges.
The team of Philip Bayliss, aged 19, David Jarret, aged 19 and Ben Scandrett, aged 18 were required to prepare a high-quality three course meal using Brakes’ ingredients, and present the dishes to diners. Every move was scrutinised by top-flight BCF judges.
The students’ mouth-watering menu of gilt-head bream, rack of lamb and blood orange soufflé saw them highly praised by the judges, although they were pipped at the post by a rival team from University College Birmingham, who scooped the winners’ trophy on the night.
Tony Davies, lecturer and third year tutor on professional craft from the college said: “We are very proud to have reached the final and taken third place, especially as the hosts. It was a golden opportunity to show just what we can do in front of top professionals. It was pretty nerve wracking performing in front of such experienced judges, but we coped well with the pressure, and produced three great courses. The experience has been a valuable stepping stone for our pupil’s careers, and it has certainly given them a taste for more top level competitions.”
Brakes, which is a committed supporter of emerging talent in the hospitality sector, has sponsored the competition for the last five years.
James Armitage, marketing director at Brakes said: “This is one of the UK’s most demanding competitions for budding chefs and front-of-house staff, with the contestants having to perform in a real pressure-cooker environment. It gave the students a great insight into the exacting standards of cooking and service which are required by our top restaurants.
“As a keen supporter of emerging talent in the hospitality sector, Brakes is proud to be an annual supporter of this competition. Many congratulations to Stratford-upon-Avon College for such a great performance, and to all the other finalists.”
Peter Griffiths, MBE, Salon Director at Le Salon Culinaire International des Londres, Hotelympia, and a member of the BCF executive council said: “Interest in this competition from catering colleges is always very high. It is a great opportunity for ambitious students to apply themselves in an authentic restaurant-style scenario.
“Congratulations to the students from Stratford-upon-Avon College for such a closely fought contest. Our thanks to Brakes for sponsoring event, and helping to ensure another very successful year for the competition.”
The team received a year’s free membership of the British Culinary Federation and vouchers for Brakes Catering Equipment for third place.
For further information contact:
Harriet Rodgers or Michael Bennett
Pelican Public Relations Ltd
Tel: 01457 820807
Issued on behalf of Brakes Group
Posted on Thursday 27th May 2010