Cecille Celebrates Student Pastry Win

Cecille Youngs of West Suffolk College has won the 2024 Student Pastry Chef of the Year held at West London College on Tuesday 14th May. Penelope Garside from York College came second with Jazmin Williams of the the NPTC Group in third.

The theme of this year’s event was grab n go with the students asked to present 12 identical mono portions of their chosen dessert plus 2 entremets.

Head judge Franciane Tartari explained that grab n go is an important part of pastry kitchens these days and it was important for students to work with the concept. For the final Chefs’ Forum designer Lee Yarlett created a special box for the students to display their entries.

Cecille’s winning entry was: Coconut, passion fruit, mango, white chocolate & lime entremets and a rhubarb and pistachio mono dessert.

Cecille told The Chefs’ Forum: “I was so nervous at the beginning I thought I wasn’t to make it but the judges were all so helpful and encouraging and by the end I really enjoyed myself and I’m so glad I stuck in and finished everything. It was such a great experience and I am excited for the future.”

The judges of the 4th Student Pastry Chef of the Year competition were led by international pastry judge Franciane Tartari and included Benoit Blin of Le Manoir and Daniel Pearce of Rhubarb. They had much to deliberate to find a winner with the field exceptionally strong this year.

Franciane said: “From close to one hundred entries we slowly got down to the final eight and they all showed great promise in the final. What we asked was not easy but every single one of the finalists rose to the occasion. In the end Cecile was the clear winner and we all wish her the very best.”

In second place was Penelope Garside from York College and in third was Jazmin Williams from the NPTC Group in Wales.

Suzanne Barwick, hospitality tutor from York College said: “This was the first competition Penelope has ever entered and she came second. She is well chuffed and it’s great for the college. It’s the first time we’ve entered the Student Pastry Chef of the Year.”

Alongside the competition was a lively trade show event where competition sponsors introduced themselves to invited guests. A special lunch of Aussie Beef & Lamb on the BBQ and lobster and crab from Royal Greenland kept everyone happy. Students from West London College prepared and served the lunch alongside tutors.

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum and organiser of the competition said: “This was the 4th student pastry chef competition and it was the best so far. The turnout was terrific and the quality of chefs competing for the prize was incredible. As part of the prize Cecille will be going to France, During this exclusive excursion, the winner will have the privilege of exploring Andros Chef’s experimental orchard, state-of-the-art factory, and the exquisite pastry training area known as “L’Atelier du fruit et du vegetal” and also won a Heinzelmann Chef-X from S.O.S Catering”

The finalists

The judges

Thank you to all our sponsors: Wedgwood, S.O.S Catering, Heinzelmann Chef-X, Bragard, Sosa, Valrhona, First Choice Produce, Matfer Bourgeat, Andros Chef, MCS Technical Products, Foster Gamko, Unox, Brown Brothers, BIG K, Aussie Beef & Lamb and Royal Greenland.