June 2021

Star seven scoop array of awards in Salon Culinaire skills competition

By Darren Campbell

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Talented food and hospitality students from University College Birmingham have bagged more than a dozen medals after showcasing their skills in a nationwide contest.

The students put themselves to the test against rival trainees and apprentices from around the UK in a variety of skills competitions last week for the annual International Salon Culinaire.

Held simultaneously at a number of establishments around the country due to restrictions posed amid the coronavirus pandemic, this year's Salon Skills competitions featured 150 students and apprentices from 12 institutions across the country, with events covering both kitchen and front-of-house skills.

And there was a generous serving of success for the University College Birmingham contestants, with seven students picking up a total of 13 medals between them, including seven golds.

"The overall level of skills was incredibly high and precise"

Anthony Wright MCA Chef lecturer

Six Level 3 Professional Cookery students scooped awards in the butchery and fish preparation skills categories, with Methus Sawangseang and Claudiu Florian claiming two golds each.

Lewis Thompson and Finlay Ladbrooke each claimed one gold and one silver, while Henry Chapman won two silvers and Zain Tahir took one silver and one bronze.

Meanwhile in the front-of-house competition, there was another award for Level 2 Bar, Cocktail and Professional Service student Maddie Stanley, who took gold in the table laying category.

University College Birmingham chef lecturer Anthony Wright said: "The overall level of skills was incredibly high and precise. It was wonderful to see their faces when the results were announced live.

"I am delighted for our students after what has been a most difficult year. I do hope that they will now enter the Eddie McIntyre Award Student Chef Challenge as they have the skills to succeed."

Students and staff celebrated as the awards were announced

Supporting Maddie in the front-of-house contest, lecturer Christine Alberto said: "It has been a very difficult year for students, and I was pleased Maddie came forward to enter the competition.

"Maddie and I spent a lot of time training, and the result was fantastic. It was great to see Maddie's face during the result. I am proud of her achievement."

Maddie Stanley won gold in the front-of-house skills event

The star seven join a long list of Salon Culinaire success stories from University College Birmingham, with a plethora of previous students from the University winning at past contests.

Chefs on the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) Apprenticeship took 11 medals at last year's contest, added to a wealth of awards won at the competition down the years.

Interested in the food and hospitality sectors? Discover our full range of courses within our Department of Hospitality and Tourism and our Birmingham College of Food.

International Salon Culinaire – Salon Skills competition 2021: Our winners

  • Henry Chapman (Level 3 Professional Cookery): Silver x2
  • Claudiu Florian (Level 3 Professional Cookery): Gold x2
  • Finlay Ladbrooke (Level 3 Professional Cookery): Gold, Silver
  • Methus Sawangseang (Level 3 Professional Cookery): Gold x2
  • Maddie Stanley (Level 2 Bar, Cocktail and Professional Service): Gold
  • Zain Tahir (Level 3 Professional Cookery): Silver, Bronze
  • Lewis Thompson (Level 3 Professional Cookery): Gold, Silver
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