Winning the Special Judges Award at the Wessex Salon Culinaire 2014 was the icing on the cake for one of this year’s gold medallists, a student at Bournemouth and Poole College.

Marta Rozycki, one of 42 chefs out of 454 competitors to win gold at the UK’s biggest, annual culinary competition, received the highest honour by impressing experts with her entry in the Novelty Cake class at the event at Brockenhurst College.

New for this year, a Best Live Competitor award was presented to The Ritz hotel’s Connor Godfrey, who won a gold best in class in the Tilda Risotto Challenge, gold in the Lamb Main Course and silver best in class in the British Turkey challenge, with Best Static Display going to The Grove’s Ben Crocker, who won a gold and best in class in the Cold Chocolate Dessert.

Also new for this year, an award for Best Competing College went to Farnborough Technology College, which had 27 students competing at Wessex, four of whom picked up a gold; Emily Brown in the Patisserie Skills, Jessica Calam in the Table Lay-up, Perry Pheasant in the Emulsion & Make-over and Shelley Gubbins in the Cupcake Decoration class.

Colleges which were new to the competition were also recognised, with Hull winning the inaugural Best NEW Competing College award, with three of its 20 competing students picking up a gold; Joshua Worrell in the Omelette Class and Philip Dixon in the Bakery Skills (Display), who both also won best in class, and Mathew Downey in the Fish Filleting.

Organiser Stephen Scuffell Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs, which organises the competition, said: “There were some amazing sights, smells and tastes at this year’s Wessex, and it was great to see so many students taking part in the competition, helping to ensure that the industry continues to flourish as youngsters look to hospitality as a rewarding career.”

Split into five categories, Live Hot, Live Cold, Restaurant, Display and Bakery – which was new to this year – there were scores of classes for entrants to choose from at this year’s Wessex, from a British game main course right through to napkin folding.

As the established event venue for the competition, Brockenhurst College, located in the New Forest National Park, is one of the UK’s top colleges and has been awarded the Beacon College status for excellence in further education and ranked ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

This year’s competition sponsors were AAK, British Turkey, Captains Club Hotel, Caterer and Licensee, CCS, Check Recruitment, Chewton Glen, Churchill, Cloud Hotel, Coastline, Coeliac UK, Collins King, Country Range, Cheeky Cow Cheese, Debono, Dr. Oetker, Essential Cuisine, Fullers, GenWare, Gourmet Classic, Guernsey Herb, Hartnett Holder & Co, Lime Wood Hotel, Macphie, Marlin Marquees, Mars Foodservice, MCS, McCormick, Mozzo, Premier Foods, Pritchitts, Tilda, The Staff Canteen, Village Veg Limited and Wenlock Spring.

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