From education to employment

Luxury hotel scholarship on offer to Wiltshire College chefs

Von Essen Hotels are offering an amazing 12 month scholarship contract to the winning student in a prestigious new catering competition at Wiltshire College.

The first heats will take place at Wiltshire College Trowbridge and Chippenham on 12th May 2009 and Salisbury on 19th May 2009. 26 students will take part. They are all currently in their second year on full and part time Catering courses across the three Wiltshire College campuses. The salaried scholarship as a Commis Chef will consist of four 3 month placements in von Essen’s luxury hotels around the South West, working with some of the country’s finest chefs.

The successful student will work on a different section in each placement, following a structured learning programme to ensure they get the maximum benefit and experience from this fantastic opportunity. The winner will have a goal that, by the end of each three month placement, they will design a dish suitable to go on the menu. At the end of the scholarship the winner will have created a four dish menu and will be presented with a ‘Menu Certificate’ with each dish on the menu signed by the appropriate Head Chef from each placement.

At the end of the four placements the winner will receive an extra bonus. They will be sent to France for a one week placement at von Essen’s French Michelin Star Hotel ‘Chateau de Bagnols’. All travel and accommodation will be provided, making this a fantastic end to the year. The second and third prizes are lunch for two at a von Essen restaurant and a two week placement at a von Essen hotel of the contestant’s choice. At the heats, three students from each campus will be chosen by a panel of judges made up of lecturers, to go through to a grand final.

The final 9 students will be judged by Daniel Moon – Head Chef at von Essen’s Homewood Park and von Essen Chef of the Year for 2008, James Parkinson – Executive Chef of von Essen hotel group and Chris Horridge – Head Chef at von Essen’s Cliveden Hotel. Chris has a Michelin star and represented the South West on the TV show ‘The Great British Menu’. The final takes place at Trowbridge campus on June 16th, followed that evening by a champagne reception at Homewood Park Hotel, where the overall winner will be announced. Entrants will be required to design a three course menu that can be prepared, cooked and presented within three hours. This will consist of a starter, main course and dessert of the student’s choice.

Chris Sutcliffe, Wiltshire College’s Trainer Assessor in Hospitality said "This competition is a fantastic opportunity for our students. The scholarship will be a very prestigious start to the winner’s career. All the students taking part will gain valuable experience of creating a menu, working to a timescale and under the pressure of a competition environment, similar to that of a busy professional kitchen."

James Parkinson – von Essen’s Executive Chef added "von Essen is delighted to be able to provide this inspirational opportunity to up and coming chefs at Wiltshire College who are just beginning their career in the Catering industry. Supporting local Colleges plays a key role in promoting the professionalism of the Hospitality industry. The successful winner of the Scholarship can experience the award winning cuisine provided by 5 of von Essen’s exclusive properties in just 12 months. This really is a career making opportunity for one lucky student."

It is anticipated that the competition will become an annual event.

Related Articles