Student chefs turn up the heat for regionals of a national cooking competition

A trio of Shrewsbury College chefs have proven their skills are cutting edge after making it through to the regional heat of a national student chef competition.

Catering students Liam Argyle, Grace Brooks and Kimberley Comer have been selected to compete in the Midlands & East Anglia heat of the Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge next month (March), following a record number of entries from more than 80 UK colleges.

The three-course menu created by the students around the ‘Back to Basics’ theme, included Sole, Coq au Vin and Lemon and thyme pudding.

“The Brakes Challenge is a leading culinary competition,” said Senior Chef Tutor at Shrewsbury College, Sean McNulty. “The students have produced a very good menu, have worked hard and creatively and I hope all their work will pay off.”

The competition aims to recreate the experiences and pressures of a typical professional kitchen, while giving competitors the opportunity to develop accurate costing and sourcing skills within a professional setting.

Grace Brooks, a Level 3 Cookery student, said: “It is great to have the opportunity to take part in competitions, and have the chance to get creative. We are very excited that our dish was shortlisted, and look forward to competing next month.”

“We all have experience in the catering industry outside of College, so working under pressure in a fast-paced environment is something we are all used to.”

Liam Argyl, studying on the same course, said: “This is the first external competition I have taken part in and I’m really excited to see how the day will pan out. I think it is great that our tutors support and encourage us to stretch ourselves.

“All three of us currently work dinner service together in the College’s restaurant Origins, so hopefully because we work well together it will be  an advantage.”

The winning teams from each of the seven regional heats will progress to the live competition final at Hotelympia’s Salon Culinaire 2014 at Excel London, and compete to win a bundle of prizes including a five-day work experience placement, organised and hosted by Christopher Basten, Chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs and a competition judge.

The regional heats will take place in early March, and the finals will follow later in the year.

For more information about the Hospitality and Catering courses at Shrewsbury College please call 01743 342333

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