UCB attempts record-breaking fourth win at Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or
University College Birmingham is on the verge of making history as it seeks a fourth win at the Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or competition – something no catering college in the UK has done before.
Victory at the final of this year’s competition, which is widely recognised as the nation’s top student culinary and restaurant service award, will bolster UCB’s reputation as the best catering college in the country.
After UCB’s 2016 win, this year’s finalists have a great deal of pressure on their shoulders, but Hospitality Business Management FdA final year student Melissa Tofani, mentored by Ros McAteer, and VQR Level 3 students Angelina Adamo and Scott Wilkinson, mentored by Mathew Shropshall, are up for the challenge.
To secure a place in the grand final later this month, teams were required to attend a masterclass with industry experts and replicate what they observed during a lunch service for ten covers. Only the five highest scoring teams made it through to the final challenge, which runs over four days in London and tests every level across a varied range of industry disciplines.
The overall winner will be announced on May 12 at The Dorchester hotel in London.
UCB Culinary Team Manager and Nestlé Mentor Mathew Shropshall said he had been honoured over the past four years to mentor and support teams all the way to the final.
He added: “During the past 29 years UCB has won the title three times under the guidance of professionals like Neil Rippington, Dean of the College of Food, Chef Lecturers John Penn and Richard Taylor, and front-of-house experts Andrew Bisconti and Amy Hollier.
“No college to date has won the award four times; but UCB is aiming to do it this year. I’m very proud as a Chef Lecturer to represent what I believe is the UK’s number one catering college and to have this opportunity to showcase our students. Scott, Angelina and Melissa are a credit to UCB and they look set to have amazing careers in the hospitality industry.”
Last year UCB students Megan Lyke, Katie Lewis and Jack Gameson triumphed in a record year for entries, seeing off competition from 156 teams representing 68 colleges.
Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or began in 1989 and since then has evolved significantly to become one of the UK’s most prestigious catering competitions. Being part of the competition can change a student’s career, with the industry recognising that Toque d’Or students have demonstrated true passion and commitment.