March 2020

RACA chef apprentices scoop string of medals at Salon Culinaire

Read time: approx 1 mins

A group of apprentice chefs from University College Birmingham have swept to success at an international culinary competition – with every single one taking home a prize medal.

Nine students on the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) Chefs Apprenticeship at the University bagged a haul of 11 medals in total at the International Salon Culinaire earlier this month.

Held as part of the prestigious Hotel, Restaurant and Catering (HRC) Show at ExCel London, the event featured three days of competition, with the University's apprentices showing off their culinary talents in a range of Skills Theatre challenges.

Mackenzie Pyne scooped both a gold and silver medal in her two skills categories, while there were also gold medals for Akaelia Edwards and Ellie Perkins.

Zane Manning also won two medals – one silver and one bronze – with Rhys Marshall, Matthew Gallagher, Hamza Salloo and Methus Sawangseang each taking a silver.

And completing the apprentices' impressive haul was Finlay Ladbrooke, who came away from the contest with a bronze medal.

Tony Wright, senior chef lecturer at the University's College of Food and Hospitality Management, said: "Our apprentices have trained hard for this and I am particularly delighted that everyone who took part came back with a medal.

"For the majority, this was the first time they have had to work under the spotlight of a competition environment, with experienced judges and an audience watching their every move.

"It was wonderful to see and be part of their journey as they grow and develop into outstanding young chefs. They are a credit to both University College Birmingham and their employers.

"There was some girl power too with all three girls taking gold medals," he added. "They must have known it was International Women's Day that week!"

Offered by University College Birmingham from September each year, the RACA Apprenticeship is a three-year course for young chefs aged 16-19 to receive the highest level of culinary training while working alongside top professionals in the hospitality sector.

The apprentices were not the only success story for the University at this year’s competition, with honours too for undergraduate student Anirudh Gosain.

The third year BA Culinary Arts Management student, who was competing in the RLT5 Uncle Ben’s & Dolmio Professional Foodservice Student Catering Challenge, scooped silver and received awards for Best Main Course and Overall Best Hygiene.

This year's winners join a procession of medallists from University College Birmingham to have impressed at the International Salon Culinaire over the years, as well as countless award winners from other culinary competitions including the Nestle Professional Toque d'Or and Zest Quest Asia.

Students on courses at our College of Food and Hospitality Management have a wealth of opportunities to put their practical training to the test in industry competitions, with dedicated support from our team of experts and chef lecturers.

Find out more about our range of food and hospitality courses here, or follow the latest updates from the College of Food and Hospitality Management on Twitter.

Our medal-winning apprentices:

ST1 Prepare a Best End of Lamb

  • Ellie Perkins – Gold
  • Zane Manning – Silver

ST2 Butcher a Whole Chicken for Saute

  • Matthew Gallagher – Silver
  • Rhys Marshall – Silver

ST3 Lemon Sole Filleting

  • Akaelia Edwards – Gold
  • Hamza Salloo – Silver

ST4 Sea Bass/Trout Preparation

  • Mackenzie Pyne – Gold
  • Zane Manning – Bronze

ST5 Knife Skills

  • Methus Sawangseang – Silver
  • Finlay Ladbrooke – Bronze

ST8 Amuse Bouche

  • Mackenzie Pyne – Silver
Back to top