Ready, Steady, Cook!

21 June 2011

This week, four teams of NVQ and VRQ Level 1 students battled it out to produce the best main course and dessert for industry judges. Each team had a set amount of time to produce each course which was then judged by White Hart owner Piers Lyon, Tewenbury Farm Restaurant Executive Chef, John Green and Sous Chef, Robert Piers, and Ruth Griffin and Helen Kevis, Managers at YMCA.

Competition was tough as all of the dishes impressed judges. In the end, team of four, Marc Bright, Tasmin Bawa, Richard Devereux and Amber Hunt were selected as producing the best dishes overall.

The event gave the students something to look forward to at the end of term as well as real-life experience of having to cook under the pressure of a deadline for industry professionals. It also raised the profile of the hospitality and catering department with these employers and was deemed a great success overall.

Mark Sharples, Chef Lecturer at Oaklands College, said: "The whole event was a great success with all teams working hard and all of the judges interacting with the students.

"It was a close contest and the judges felt that the main course from team 2, NVQ students, was the more balanced and flavoursome dish and the dessert from team 2 VRQ students was very modern with great presentation and flavour. But the first prize went to the VRQ group team 4 with two good dishes and a well organised team, showing elements of great co-operation and professionalism.

"This event has created some vital links with industry and encouraged students to fulfil their ambitions of being professional chefs."