Success was on the menu for our professional cookery and hospitality students as they celebrated 2 gold, 10 silver and 7 bronze medals - as well as 3 Master Chefs of Great Britain, Cocktail Champion and Best Dressed - at the NECTA competition this month.
We are so proud of our students for taking part in bespoke training with industry experts and working hard to prepare for the competition. The group thoroughly enjoyed the cocktail masterclass with Nick Hall from Silk Room Restaurant & Champagne Bar, and the session with Douglas Jordan from the Craft Guild of Chefs.
The additional support allowed the students to explore their independence and creativity in their chosen heat, with a number of students competing in new specialties.
It was an intense day as our students went head-to-head with other local colleges, competing in many live cookery classes at Gosforth Park Hotel. The prestigious North East culinary trade association competition, sponsored by the renowned 21 Group, included a very high calibre of respected Michelin star award winning judges on the panel, observing every moment, including the youngest chef to win a Michelin star, Aiden Byrne.
A huge congratulations to our fantastic 9 students who received recognition for their hard work and demonstrating such a high level of skill in the heats below:
Team Challenge NCD: Silver individually and overall as a team
Level 3 students
Tian Chen – Fish Preparation: Silver
Mikaela Humble – Chicken Preparation: Silver – Chicken Main: Bronze – Kitchen Team Challenge: Silver
Bethany McKenzie – Cake Decorating: Bronze
Level 2 students
Bailey Yates – Vegetarian Starter: Bronze
Ryan Briggs – Cocktail Challenge: Gold – Barista Skills: Bronze
Abbie Leigh Brown – Cocktail Challenge: Bronze
Level 1 students
Charlotte Cazalet-Smith – Future Chef Class: Silver – Hot Starter: Bronze
Faith Pacey – Best Dressed: Gold – Front of House Team Challenge: Silver
Ethan Nicholas – Knife Skills (vegetable cuts): Bronze
We caught up with Level 1 student, Charlotte Cazalet-Smith, after receiving two medals:
"To come away with a silver medal for my pork dish and bronze medal for my scallop dish has given me the determination to succeed, desire to learn, confidence to grow, and most importantly the understanding of what employers and the industry are looking for."
The event is also a great opportunity for our students to network with industry leaders, seeing new trends and product development through various suppliers.
Our culinary team supported the students on the day. Lynn Mitchinson, Professional Cookery Lecturer, commented:
“It was wonderful and a proud experience to watch our young student chefs participate in this high level event, each student demonstrated culinary excellence in their heat. I enjoyed taking part in the team challenge to see how the students worked together – we had to create a three-course meal for four people from a mystery box of ingredients within an hour - a well deserved silver medal!”
Douglas Jordan, Chairman of the Judges, said:
"The NECTA competition aims to work closely with colleges, restaurants and hotels to raise the profile and quality standards of the industry in the North East. We hope those who competed today are inspired to continue to follow their passion and gain further work experience."