Hospitality and Catering students at Oaklands College swept the floor with their culinary skills this week making their competition debut at one of the UK’s largest trade exhibitions for the industry.
The team of five staff and students brought home a mix of one bronze, three silvers and one gold in a competition at the Great Hospitality exhibition at the Birmingham NEC, which their pitched their skills against other chefs from across the country.
Taking the stage in the exhibitions ‘Skills Theatre’ entrants competed in a number of heats to pip specific culinary skills against chefs nationwide. The possible heats available tested all aspects of food and beverage preparation from knife skills, butchering meats to table laying and cocktail mixology, allowing entrants to shine in their area of expertise.
Team Oaklands came away with a Bronze for the Amuse Bouche category for Level 1 student Carole Reichenbach, Silver for Lecturer Paul Wood for Chicken Cut for Saute with a second win of Silver and Best in Class for Lemon Sole Filleting.
Further wins came in the form of a Silver Best in Class for Level 3 student Emma Gilson in the Live Gateau category and an outstanding Gold Best in Class for Level 2 student Steve Ovenden for his Amuse Bouche.
Hailed as the UK’s celebration for everything new in British food service and hospitality, the exhibition attracts leading exhibitors, industry experts and key buyers from the UK and Europe to share the latest innovations in food and drink, catering equipment, technology interiors and table tops.
Lecturer in Hospitality and Catering Paul Wood not only supported the students in their own preparations for the competition, but also came away himself with two of the team’s medals for the day. He said: “Five entries made and five medals won is a fantastic result for their debut competition. To see our students succeed and get their first flavour of industry recognition outside the classroom makes all the hard work worthwhile.”