From education to employment

Gabriele serves up silver medal success

A student chef from Walsall College has scooped a silver medal after participating in a competition for rising industry stars.  Gabriele Mesko was named runner-up in the British Culinary Federation (BCF) Student Chef of the Year.

The 18-year-old wowed judges with a visually-stunning, mouth-watering three-course menu for two cooked up in two hours.  These were a mushroom and butternut squash tartlet, followed by cod with a beurre blanc sauce and a chocolate mousse with hazelnut caramel and poached pear.

Hospitality management student, Gabriele said that while she enjoyed her time at the competition, her success came as a shock.

“When my name was called out for second place, I had no words to describe my feelings. It’s still sinking in,” she said. 

“The competition experience itself was really intense and I had doubts about my abilities.  I’ve been working in a restaurant kitchen up in Birkenshaw, but this was a different experience.  Not only are you fully focused, you’re also fighting to come out on top.  Even so I loved every minute of it.”

Gabriele added: “In future, I hope I can progress into a senior chef, be involved in more competitions like this and maybe work abroad.  I’m hungry for more success.”

In addition to her silver medal, Gabrielle received a cheque for £100, certificate and a set of chef knives courtesy of Contacto.

As one of eight finalists, she was also given one year’s free membership to the BCF, a BCF embroidered apron, a framed finalist’s certificate and gifts from Wrapmaster and Contacto.

The BCF Student Chef of the Year finals took place at University College Birmingham.  Competitors were marked on culinary skills shown, hygiene, working methods, portion size, flavour, temperature, presentation and timing.

BCF President Peter Griffiths commented:

“All the young student chefs performed exceptionally well. It was a challenging competition in the time allowed and the students were a credit to themselves and their colleges.”

Andrew Sage, newly appointed BCF Student competition organiser added that he was delighted with the final outcome and the support and interest from colleges across the country had been excellent. 

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