Students rise to the challenge in bake off at Alton Towers

July 2014

Bakery students walked away with a clutch of prizes and trophies at a national competition.

The Alliance for Bakery Students & Trainees (ABST) annual conference, held at Alton Towers, Staffordshire, saw UCB’s budding bakers compete against their peers in several categories, including bread and fermented goods, pastry, confectionery and cake decoration. Judges awarded marks based on the goods’ appearance, skill levels, taste, technique and workmanship.

The competitions tested what students have been studying and were all relevant to industry, where the requirement for consistently high-quality products is paramount.

The event included presentations by professionals and a 70s theme night and entertainment to celebrate the country’s best new bakery talent.

Dawn Gemmell, Head of Bakery at UCB, said: “The conference is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain valuable competition experience and build their confidence. It also allows them to network with industry specialists and potential employers.”

Level 2 bakery student Harry Barber won the Horton Trophy 2014, beating more than 25 competitors, including professional bakers and lecturers. He also won the Novices Ireks Cup, bringing the trophy back to UCB for the second time in a row, and the Christine Robson Memorial Trophy for the best Swiss roll. Harry also won a scholarship with Hovis, which has students nationwide applying for this fantastic opportunity.

Harry was also part of the team that won the Founder Cup Team Competition (another consecutive win for UCB) for producing the best Battenberg, puff pastry, scones and bloomer loaf alongside fellow students Danielle Brennan, Nathan Harrison and Rohima Malik.

After an action-packed weekend of competitions, UCB walked away with seven first-place awards, two second-place, seven third-places and several high commendations.