November 2022

Chefs jet off on medal mission for England at 2022 Culinary World Cup

By Darren Campbell

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Talented chefs from University College Birmingham have jetted off to Europe to do battle with the world's best in a prestigious international culinary contest.

Students, staff and alumni from the University's celebrated College of Food will fly the flag for England at this year's Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg.

Held every four years, the competition is taking place as part of Expogast, an international gastronomy trade fair being held over five days from 26-30 November in Kirchberg, Luxembourg City.

It is the final stop on a journey which began two years ago for the National England Junior Team, with preparations for the contest having begun in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

"This is an amazing opportunity to inspire young people in England, and also to make our families proud!"

Rebecca Bourne Vice-captain, National England Junior Team

Managed by College of Food chef lecturers Mat Shropshall and Richard Taylor and coached by Culinary Arts Management BA (Hons) graduate Jack Gameson, the team features six more current and former University College Birmingham students.

Among them are team captain Elliot Lawn and vice-captains Rebecca Bourne and Angelina Adamo, all of whom studied Professional Cookery Level 3, while Elliot and Rebecca also progressed to study Professional Chef FdA and Hospitality Business Management BA (Hons) respectively.

Joining them in Luxembourg are former Professional Chef FdA student Jude Andrews alongside current students Alahgi Jadama (Culinary Arts Management BA (Hons)) and Luke Jeffs (Food and Nutrition BSc (Hons)), as well as fellow team member Jamie Macdonald.

National England Junior Team coach Jack Gameson said: "It's been an unreal time over the past couple of years with Covid-19, Brexit and the cost of living crisis, but we are now gearing up to showcase the talents of young chefs from around England, and it has been an honour to be the coach and pass on my knowledge and skills."

Vice-captain Rebecca Bourne, who is a chef de partie at Michelin Guide restaurant The Boat Inn in Lichfield, said: "This is an amazing opportunity to inspire young people in England, and also to make our families proud!"

Team manager and chef lecturer Mat Shropshall said: "After nine years of being team manager, it still remains a privilege to support and manage the team alongside chef lecturers Richard Taylor and Jack Gameson.

"During these tough times with the cost of living crisis and other challenges, it has been an honour to work with them all and see the positive impact they make as role models for young people.

"A big thank you to our mentor Chef Mark Hill MBE and all the young chefs for staying focused in representing England at this Culinary World Cup. Also thank you to all our sponsors and the management of the British Culinary Federation (BCF) to allow this team to compete, and to Peter Griffiths MBE (President of the BCF) for making this opportunity happen for England.

"Last but not least, a massive thank you to all the staff and management at University College Birmingham for supporting the team and providing the platform for this group of talented young chefs to train and develop their skills. We wish them all the best of luck!"

England won double silver at the Culinary World Cup two years ago

Excelling for England

The National England Junior Team will go head-to-head with rivals representing 14 other nations from around the world, including Australia, Canada, Mexico and countries across Europe.

Battling for gold, silver and bronze medals, the chefs will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of past medal-winning teams, with England bagging double silver at the last Culinary World Cup in 2018.

Several of the current crew of chefs were also part of the England team which scooped a silver medal two years ago at the 2020 IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany.

University College Birmingham's acclaimed College of Food is a leading provider of specialist training for the food and hospitality industries, with students learning in our award-winning training restaurant as well as having a wealth of opportunities to put their skills to the test in prestigious national and international competitions.

Discover our full range of courses here.

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