College of Food students snag coveted place in Toque d'Or Final
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Students Luke Hayward, Erin Robinson and Millie Tibbins are set to represent UCB in the final round of one of the most prestigious cooking competitions for young people in the UK.
Following a series of initial rounds taking place in Scotland, London and Birmingham, UCB is one of just six colleges to be selected for the Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or’s grand final.
Millie, Erin and Luke were first challenged to closely observe a front and back of house masterclass, before replicating the three course lunch service for judges and esteemed diners.
Support and encouragement came from guests of honour Angelina Adamo and Scott Wilkinson, UCB students who, along with Hospitality Business Management student Melissa Tofani, emerged triumphant from last year’s contest in a record-breaking fourth consecutive victory for the University.
This year’s team managed to stave off stiff competition from 18 other colleges to make it to the notoriously challenging grand final, which will take place in London on 24-29 April.
“The Toque d’Or competition is brilliant because it gives you the opportunity to network, gain confidence, and open yourself up to new experiences,” said Camila Cabral, Events Manager for Nestlé.
“As previous winners will know too well, those who reach the finals of this event get a lot of recognition. You can expect opportunities to arise out of doing well at the Toque d’Or as the panel of judges, as well as the guests who attend, are so respected in the industry.”
This year marks a new venture for the Toque d’Or, as it is the first time college and university competitors have worked together with apprentices, who are competing for a separate title. This, Camila says, is a fantastic opportunity for students and apprentices to share their skills and collaborate with each other.
The Toque d’Or has expanded significantly over the years since it was established as a relatively small catering competition in 1989. Now heading towards its 30th year, the annual contest attracts entries from all over Britain and tests a whole spectrum of hospitality and catering skills.
Both college and apprentice winners will be announced at an invite-only awards ceremony at The Dorchester on 8 June.