After months of build up culminating in a thrilling live-cook off final, held as part of ScotHot 2013, a team from City of Glasgow College have been crowned winners of UK catering competition, the Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge 2012/13.
This year’s competition challenged teams, consisting of three full-time catering and hospitality college students, to create a three-course menu inspired by the theme ‘Going Global with World Cuisine’ in just 1 hour and 45 minutes. The winning City of Glasgow College team comprising of Vanessa Daley, Michael Sheddon and Neil Rowan prepared a menu of a starter of scallop and crab cake, with crispy prawns, cucumber pickle, lime and coriander dressing and oriental sauce followed by a main course of seared fillet of pork with confit pig cheeks, rakti sausage, smoked Auvergne and green lentil dal, grape chutney roasted vegetables, red wine sauce with a dessert of passion fruit soufflé with chocolate and coconut mousse and a mango sorbet.
The challenge, run in association with Craft Guild of Chefs, began back in September 2012 when college teams were invited to submit a menu, methodology and a costed list of ingredients in response to the ‘Going Global with World Cuisine’ theme. A record number of 85 team entries from 61 different colleges were received before 46 short-listed teams were invited to compete in a live cook-off at one of six regional heats, held during January and February 2013 at various locations across the UK. The winner of each regional heat, along with the overall best runner-up, were then invited to compete in the live grand final held as part of ScotHot 2013, climaxing with the City of Glasgow College team being named Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge 2012/13 champions.
Judge Mark Irish, Head of Brakes Development Chefs, said: “The standard of cooking throughout this year’s challenge has been superb but the City of Glasgow College team really stood out. They took a bold approach to the theme and demonstrated a high-level of skill. To cook dishes of this standard as part of a live final is a real achievement and Vanessa, Michael and Neil showed genuine talent to deliver such high quality dishes under intense pressure. We hope the experience will prepare them for glittering careers in the future.”
As part of their prize, the City of Glasgow College team will complete a five-day work placement in a professional kitchen hosted by competition judge Christopher Basten, in addition to receiving a 6-piece Global Knife set each and the coveted winners plaque, medals and certificates. The two runners-up, South Eastern Regional College and Herefordshire College each received a Global Knife set along with medals and framed certificates. All competition finalists received a chef’s jacket and a year’s free student/trainee membership to the Craft Guild of Chefs.
Winning team member, Neil Rowan, said: “We’re ecstatic that we have won the competition – we worked really hard as a team to create the menu and deliver top quality cooking in both the regional heats and the live final. We learnt so much just taking part and now we can’t wait to start our professional work placement with Christopher Basten.”
For full details on the Student Chef Team Challenge please visit www.brakesstudentchef.co.uk