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Catering students secure finals spot in national restaurant competition

Professional cookery students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) will join teams from colleges across the UK in the grand final of the UK Young Restaurant Team of the Year competition following a close contest at the Gordon Ramsay Academy on 19 March.

College catering and hospitality students Abbie Clarke, Sam Hurst and Harry Forbes will compete with teams from Belfast Metropolitan College, Sheffield College, Loughborough College, and Suffolk New College at the Skills for Chefs conference in Sheffield on 26 June 2024.

At each stage of the competition the teams prepare and serve their dishes in a live restaurant situation to guests from industry. The theme for the finals is ‘Escoffier Re-Imagined’ and the winning team will embark on a study tour to Paris in October. The NWSLC team are hoping to repeat their success of 2018 when they last won the competition and enjoyed a trip to Colombia to discover the secrets of Latin American cuisine.

Jon Starns, Catering and Hospitality Lead for NWSLC who mentored the students to success in the competition, said:

“I am delighted that the team has progressed to the final again this year. As a college we really enjoy this competition as it brings out the best in the students and is one of the top competitions available to them. We are really looking forward to showing what we can do in the final.

“The team has worked extremely hard to reach this stage, coming into college in their own time and practising for up to three days each week, and we are looking forward to testing our skills against some strong competitors in June.”

Vicky Enderson, Chair of Judges for the competition, said:

“The standard of the competition is progressing year on year, and this is testament to the hard work of the students and their mentors.”

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said:

“This is a great achievement for our students, and we are very proud of them. They have demonstrated great tenacity in working so hard to reach their goals and they are now set to compete on a national stage and gain some experience that will help them as they start their careers in the catering and hospitality sector. I am always in awe of the quality of food served by students at our Glebegate restaurant in Nuneaton and know they will be hard at work developing a winning menu for the competition. I wish them all the best for the final in June.”

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