Students compete for a chance to cook alongside Michelin starred chefs at the Ludlow Food Festival

A group of student chefs from two colleges battled it out this week in the first round of a master chef-style competition, ahead of the Ludlow Food Festival.

Seven Catering students from Shrewsbury College and ten from Herefordshire & Ludlow College spent an afternoon in the skills kitchens at Shrewsbury College where they were tasked with individually cooking their take own take on a stuffed chicken dish with garnish. The food was judged by Chef Tutors, Mark Johnson and Steve Poole from Shrewsbury College and Stuart Leggett from Herefordshire & Ludlow College (HLC).

Competition was tight and the students had to prove they’ve got what it takes to produce results under pressure.

Steve Poole, said: “The students showed exceptional talent during the afternoon’s competition. We had originally planned on choosing two winners to go through to cook head-to-head at Ludlow, but we found it impossible to narrow it down.

“It’s important for students to receive a wide range of opportunities whilst training to work in the industry, so working with local colleges and events like the Ludlow Food Festival are great experience.”

Ludlow Food Festival is now in its 20th year and has become the place to be for aspiring and professional chefs as well foodies from across the county who attend to support local food producers and celebrate exceptional cuisine. Students from both colleges have been taking part in the festival since it began.

HLC Chef Lecturer, Stuart Leggett, added: "All the students have performed incredibly well showing off some excellent technical ability. I'm really proud our students are through to the finals and we're all really looking forward to the festival in Ludlow."

The chosen winners were, Elliot Emery and Laura O'Brien from Herefordshire & Ludlow College and Jess Goodwin and Matt Wadsworth from Shrewsbury College. These students will compete again during the Ludlow Food Festival and the overall winner will get the chance to work alongside Michelin star chefs during demonstrations at the show.

Ludlow Food Festival will take place On Friday 11, Saturday 12, and Sunday, 13, September at Ludlow Castle and around the town. For more information visit 

For more information about Hospitality & Catering courses at Shrewsbury College, please come to the Advice Event on June 4 from 5pm to 7pm, visit or call 01743 342411.

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