Young college chefs cook up a storm in culinary challenge

New College Durham catering students Mason Swallow and Rebecca Jackson.

New College Durham catering students Mason Swallow and Rebecca Jackson.

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Catering students cooked up winning dishes as young chefs battled it out in a culinary challenge.

Talented New College Durham catering and hospitality students won four out of a possible five gold medals, plus nine silvers and 15 bronze, at the Major Series National Culinary Challenge.

We have some very talented trainee chefs here at the New College Durham, so our expectations were extremely high and we weren’t disappointed.

Paul McLaughlin, New College Durham

The event was held in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs and sponsored by Major International Foods.

The gold medals were won in the street food class, table settings, flambé, and cocktails.

This year’s competition included a host of exciting live displays, taking place in the college’s industry standard training kitchen, including cocktails, table setting, and live flambé cooking.

There was also static displays of main courses, desserts, sweets, and breads.

Ryan Gray, 19, who is studying a Level 3 Professional Cookery course, said: “I have been encouraged to take part in competitions since I started at New College Durham.

“I have competed in eight competitions so far and been in two national finals, gaining bronze medals in both.

“I like competitions, as they test you and you are up against other chefs. Also the competitions are marked to a standard and not just first, second and third.”

Other competitors included students from Hartlepool College and Tyne Met College plus professional chefs from across the North of England.

Paul McLaughlin, Hospitality and Catering Curriculum Manager at New College Durham said: “We were extremely proud to have been chosen to host this high-profile event once again.

“There were 118 entries across 12 different classes, with over 90 young chefs taking part.

“We have some very talented trainee chefs here at the New College Durham, so our expectations were extremely high and we weren’t disappointed.

“The 28 awards won by our students shows the high standard of work that they achieve.”

New College Durham hosted this event for the fifth consecutive year and it is part of a series of national culinary salons held at only three hand-picked colleges across the UK.

To find out about catering and hospitality courses at New College Durham call 0191 375 4040, visit www.newcollegedurham.ac.uk or go along to the next open event tomorrow evening from 5pm to 7pm.