Three students of hospitality and catering have excelled at the national finals of the UK Young Restaurant Team of the Year in Sheffield. Abbie Clarke, Harry Forbes, and Sam Hurst from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) collected an award for best use of seafood for their starter and also won the highly commended service award.
Thanks to her performance in the competition, Abbie Clarke from Nuneaton, who has completed a diploma in food and beverage supervision at NWSLC, was offered employment by a number of contacts connected with the competition. Employment opportunities were extended to all three students by Jocky Petrie, executive development chef for Gordon Ramsay Restaurants and by other competition judges. The students also enjoyed an interactive session with acclaimed chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White as part of the Skills for Chefs conference held at the University of Sheffield’s Inox venue on 29 June.
Jon Starns, Catering and Hospitality Lead for NWSLC, who helped to mentor the students to success in the competition alongside chef lecturer David Saul, said, “Well done to all three students who performed amazingly well throughout their competition experience. They adjusted brilliantly to working without the close support of their mentors in the judging stages and rose to the challenge with great determination and energy. They were up against some very tough competition in the final, but all of their hard work, commitment and dedication has been rewarded. We are so proud of how far they have come and recognise the number of extra hours of work they put in to get ready for the competition. All three students are great role models to their peers.”
Students designed an Italian menu based on the southern region of Puglia delivering a menu that included their award-winning cod fillet starter, seared sirloin, and crispy brisket, followed by pistachio and white chocolate panna cotta all served with Pago fruit juices and a range of wines. Competition finalists included teams from Eastleigh College, Sheffield College, Loughborough College, and overall winners, Cheshire College South & West.
Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC said, “This is a fantastic 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 have benefited by being introduced to some stellar contacts who have opened up routes into exciting careers following the achievement of their college qualifications. Congratulations to the whole team!”