Student Chefs Reach Regional Final of National Competition

A team of students from Cornwall College Camborne has made it through to the South West regional final of the Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge, to be held at City of Bristol College next month.


Jessica Bradley from St Ives, Tomas Pavilonis, 27 from Camborne and Mike Banks, 17 from Truro, who are all studying the Professional Cookery Diploma (Kitchen and Larder) VRQ3, had to design a three course menu using the theme “Foods of the World”.


The team chose to use the Olympics as their inspiration, focusing on past, present and future destinations of the Games to influence their impressive menu, submitting recipes and costings for each dish.


Using local, seasonal produce wherever possible, the team chose a Beijing-inspired starter of Peking duck, followed by a London-based classic of pie, mash and jellied eels, and a “Cup of Brazilian Coffee” to finish, which was chosen by the panel of judges from leading UK foodservice and catering supplier Brakes.


Jessica said: “We tried to use techniques and skills that not only showcase our talents to the judges, but that are also very current right now. Our tutors have been really supportive, giving us helpful feedback and lots of time to work on this, in addition to the lessons we normally have.”


Tomas added: “It’s been a great experience, and loads of fun taking part in the competition. We’re all really excited, but a little bit nervous too!”


Having successfully won this heat, the team will travel to City of Bristol College in January to compete against other colleges in the regional final, where they will be required to produce their menu in 90 minutes. The team would then attend the national final at the Hotel Olympia in London later in the year if successful, where they will cook a number of dishes in front of a live audience.


Stuart Mathieson, Curriculum Area Manager for Hospitality and Catering at Cornwall College Camborne, said: “The team has worked really hard, and their menu is very impressive. It really shows the high levels of technical skills they have! I’m so pleased their work has paid off and hope they’re as successful in the next round.”


Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “These competitions are fantastic opportunities for our students to showcase their talents and highlight the skills and experience they have learned. These students have obviously worked really hard and I wish them luck in the next stage of the competition.”

City of Bristol College will also be competing in this regional heat – Good luck all!