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St Cecilia’s College and North West Regional College Students go head to head in ‘Bake Off’ competition

A pupil from St Cecilia’s College, and a Food Production student from North West Regional College (NWRC), have been crowned champions at the North West Baking Championships.

The two competitions, which were hosted at NWRC’s Flying Clipper restaurant, required participants to design, create and produce their own Afternoon Tea Menus, paying close attention to quality, time management, presentation and taste.

Leah Kelly, a 15 year old student from St Cecilia’s College was awarded the ‘Top Baker’ title in the Post Primary school category, for ‘Leah’s Tea House’ Afternoon Tea package. During the intense morning of competition, the Year 11 student, competing against other finalists from Moville Community College, produced a Rainbow Sandwich, Orange Cranberry Scones, White Chocolate and Pretzel Cookies, and Banana Date Cake with Walnut and Honey Glaze.

Marie Mulhern, who is currently studying for City & Guilds L2 NVQ Diploma in Food Production ( Specialising In Breads, Pastry and Desserts) at NWRC Strand Road, was crowned Queen of the Bake Off in the Inter Campus Category.

Going head to head against other Hospitality students at the college, Marie created Coronation Chicken and Coriander Salad mini sandwiches, Cranberry and Orange scones served with a Cranberry and Orange Jam and freshly Whipped Cream, mini Red Wine cake with Cream Cheese frosting and dusted with cocoa powder, and Lemon Tartlet drizzled with Chocolate and decorated with fresh Raspberries.

Claire Goodman, Green Cat Bakery, one of the judges in the Inter Campus Category, said the judges had a tough time selecting the overall winner given the standard of baking on show.

She said: “All of the judges were impressed by the quality of the foods that were produced, but also the work that was done behind the scenes. The work that went into planning the menus, preparation and timings was superb.

“All of the students who took part put a great deal of time and effort in and I’d like to congratulate every one of them.”

Lecturer Bernadette Peoples said the college’s first ever Baking Championships had been a huge success.

She added: “We were delighted to welcome post primary pupils, and of course our own students, to the industry standard kitchens at Strand Road campus for a competition that has been a huge success.

“With the popularity of shows such as ‘The Great British Bake Off,’ demand for courses in Baking and Pastry making has never been higher.

“This year we decided to run the Baking Championships with the theme of Afternoon Tea, challenging all of our participants in both sweet and savoury, as well as testing their preparation, time management and presentation skills.

“I’d like to thank all of the schools that took part, our students, our judges, and of course the Hospitality and Catering team at NWRC without whom we would not have been able to deliver such a high quality competition.

“We hope to repeat this success by running a similar competition next year.”

North West Regional College offers a number of learning opportunities that can provide a direct route into a career in the Hospitality industry at their campuses in Strand Road and Limavady.

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