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Colchester Institute wins ‘A Passion to Inspire’

Colchester Institute wins ‘A Passion to Inspire’

Congratulations to Colchester Institute, Suffolk New College, Cambridge Regional College, West Suffolk College, City College Norwich, New City College Hackney   for reaching the grand final. To reach the final – 6 Heats – 37 teams – 111 Students and lots of Great Lecturers – Mentors – Chefs and Employers

The competition was sponsored and supported by Russums, Ponthier, True Foods Stocks , The Wine Cellar BSE ,Hallgarten & Novum Wines.  Grande Cuisine Academy, Dingley Dell , Anglia Produce, Direct Meats, Adnams, Skills for Chefs , The Craft Guild of Chefs, H and C News , Cheffi , Koppert Cress , Titchwell Manor , First Contact Chefs ,Caistor Hall, Infusions Group , Fen Farm – Baron Bigod ,  Novo Farina

Great Team – Sophia Bearman, Stephanie Etherington and Jess Hornsby

Winning Menu


Baron Bigod, pea & asparagus tart, pea & truffle purée

Barons Lane rosé 2021, New Hall Wine Estate, Essex

To Follow

Roasted rack of Dingley Dell pork, pommes Anna, roasted baby vegetables,

black pudding stuffing, sauce Robert

‘El Compadre’ Pinot Noir 2019, Vallede Malleco, Viña Echeverria

To Finish

Passion scented spheres, shortbread crumb, compressed mango

Verbena Spritz cocktail


Overall Winners prizes:

Grande Cuisine Academy – 4 places to the winning team will be going on a very special trip to Lyon and a Culinary adventure through the valleys

Grande Cuisine Academy

Skills for Chefs 2023  and they will meet Culinary Legend Marco Pierre White and other Great Chefs Sally Abe, Henrique sá Pessoa, Andrew Gravett, and Luke French

Skills For Chefs 2023

Chefii- Knife rolls – from Jazz   Chefi

Mark Poynton’s Great Culinary Journey with His New Great Cookbook

Great Prizes for all involved

  1. Best team – Adnams  – Lunch for 4 at The Swan Southwold and a Brewery Tour Winner Suffolk New College
  2. Best Cocktail – cocktail masterclass with us at The Wine Cellar BSE – Cambridge Regional College
  3. Wastage – Accommodation and dinner at Titchwell Manor – City College Norwich
  4. Best service – A Fantastic day at Infusions ICE Experience  – New City College Hackney
  5. Best wine matches -Wine Tasting Experience with Hallgarten and Novum Wines – West Suffolk College
  6. Best use of Pork – College farm visit to Dingley Dell Pork Farm – Suffolk New College

Passion to Inspire – Presentation Video


Mark Poynton, Bradley Dorrington , Nick Mills , Greg Anderson, Eric Snaith, Buzz , Nick Claxton Webb and Ed Keith

Special Gifts for all the Finalists

Great Support – A Passion to Inspire Chef Jackets and aprons from Richard at Russums and from Paul at Ponthier Special cocktail shakers and recipe booklets for all the FOH finalists and for the Chefs and Spatula’s and scrapers for the Chefs With Special Goodie Bags from Ice with special presents for all Dishoom and So Good Magazine

A Massive Special thank you – to the Paul Smith and the whole team at City College Norwich for hosting and supporting a fantastic day with such brilliant Hospitality and wonderful support from the Photography Students Jodi Causbysmith, Alice Greenslade, Jessica Parker, Lucy Roffey and Richard Steer with Pictures and social media  – you are all superstars

Jodi – 2nd Year UAL Diploma in Photography “ Photographing for A Passion to Inspire was a great experience, the atmosphere was tense but exciting. I was so impressed by the talent of the students. It was definitely an event to inspire. “

Mark Poynton  – “ So very  proud to be part of a magnificent line up of talented young people  – The Aptitude and attitude of the all the finalists was simply amazing – their work ethic and teamwork stunning – it was a hard day judging- my taste buds had a fantastic day – and all the skills on show in the kitchen and Service were wonderful   – and as Murray said he was so happy not to be a judge –we want to support all  Students – simply Magic – so proud of them – and  going forward I cannot wait until our next culinary Adventure- 13th June with Chef Cyrus and Chef Cherish Finden  “

Stephanie Conway – Winning Lecturer   “ I would like to personally thank everyone involved for the competition I understand it is always much easier when things have gone well .

The judges / mentors – lovely to hear such supportive feedback for all the students . There was a lovely atmosphere at the competition this made the students from all the colleges support one another so well . A student from Norwich City college told me “ She loved the whole experience” All the hours the mentors have given up supporting the students.

Upskills days – the students really enjoyed both the days and gained knowledge which prepared them for the competition.

Prizes-  I really liked the spread of prizes given out some excellent experiences for all the colleges.

Sponsors – I support of the sponsors was outstanding from the lovely whites to the products and goody bags given to all the students.

Norwich City college – The college was absolutely fantastic the staff students were all so welcoming and supportive.

Thank you all so much for all your hard work throughout the whole experience.

Bradley Dorrington – “This years competitors raised the bar higher than ever. Specifically Front of House – the students knowledge and skills were exemplary. 2023 showed great cooking ability across the board and I for one was so pleased to see what the future of our industry looks like. All the competitors and colleges should be incredibly proud of what they achieved at the Final. Having a number of Level 1 and 2 students compete as well is fantastic and I hope to see them back next year!”

Claire Waterson – “A passion 2 inspire is more than just a competition, it is an opportunity to be part of something special, an industry family.

I have seen first-hand the difference it makes to a student’s journey!!!  Learners are exposed to the very best of industry, forging valuable connections for future career opportunities. “

Paul Smith – “.I asked the all the students who were involved in the day (not just those in the teams) They found it to be really inspiring to be around so many individuals who are so passionate about the students and the industry they wish to succeed in ! “

Fantastic Mentors – Scott Taylor, Aaron Skerritt, Dave Wall, Adam Lestrelle, Tom Slegg,  Barney O’Connell , Sam Carter, Matt Wilby , Adam Spicer, Ashley Bush

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