High hopes for UCB's Culinary Olympic team

August 2016

A talented team of UCB chefs are hoping to replicate the success of Team GB’s Olympians when they represent England at the Culinary Olympics in October.

The five-strong group met under competition conditions this week to replicate the menu they will create on October 22, when they battle it out against 24 other junior teams from across the globe.

At stake is the opportunity to be crowned the best young chefs in one of the world’s most prestigious international culinary competitions.

Students Nathan Lane, Elliot Lawn, and Tom Kirkby, who are about to embark on UCB’s Level 3 Professional Cookery Diploma, say they are ready for the challenge.

Nathan, a former pupil at Turves Green Boys’ School in Northfield, currently combines his studies with working as a commis chef at Birmingham’s Michelin-starred Simpsons restaurant.

Elliot, who joined UCB from Langley School in Solihull, said he was “shocked but happy” to get a place on the team. He added: “I’m looking forward to seeing how the other teams cope with the pressure.”

Tom, who has a summer job working at the acclaimed Adam’s Restaurant in Birmingham, spoke of his pride at representing his country. The former pupil of Lode Heath School in Solihull said: “I hope I do everyone proud.”

Joining them is Jack Gameson, who is in this third year of UCB’s Culinary Arts Management degree.  The 21-year-old said: “Organisation is going to be the most important thing on the day. I can’t wait to get into the kitchen.”

The final team member is Ed Marsh, a former Level 3 Professional Cookery student who now works as a sous chef at 5* Lucknam Park in Wiltshire. Reflecting on his time at UCB he said: “It’s a brilliant place if you are looking to go into the industry. You couldn’t make better connections or experience a better wealth of knowledge.”

UCB Chef Lecturer Mat Shropshall, manager of the England National Junior Team, and UCB governor Peter Griffiths MBE, president of the British Culinary Federation, were on hand to offer some last minute tips.

Mr Griffiths said: “It’s huge to represent your country at such a young age. This is their last opportunity to check that they are right on song. It’s the final part of an intensive training programme which started last November.

“We’ve seen how well Team GB is doing in the Olympics in Rio – I hope we can to replicate that success in Germany. I’m looking forward to seeing the results.”

Chef Shropshall added: “It’s been a pleasure to see these chefs develop and grow during the past 15 months training and build up to the Culinary Olympics, they are a credit to England.”

The Culinary Olympics takes place in Erfurt from October 22 to 25.