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Catering and hospitality students turn the heat up for national challenge

Posted: 15 February 2019

A talented trio of catering and hospitality students are celebrating success in the national heats of one of the country’s most prestigious catering competitions.

Aaron Matthews and Rachael Dubourg who are students on the NVQ Level 3 in Professional Cookery have worked with Olivia Boswell, who is studying the NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality Supervision to produce and serve a select vegetarian dish to impress judges of the Nestle Professional Toque D’Or.

The Toque D'Or is designed to bridge the gap between the classroom, work-based learning and the reality of the industry. Its aim is to inspire the next generation of talented young chefs to develop their skills, knowledge and experience.

Their task was to be filmed creating their dish, explaining the preparation and cooking, giving details of why they had selected it and its ingredients. The brief was sustainability, nutrition and healthiness. Their chosen dish was Moroccan inspired cous cous with aromatic spices. You can see the group’s video here https://vimeo.com/311192902/3c24bc385a

It was this video that has impressed judges, taking them on to the next stage of the competition, which is now in its 30th year. Aaron, Rachael and Olivia will now represent West Notts College – one of 24 colleges competing for a place in the grand finals at The College of Food at The University College, Birmingham.

Olivia, who will be supporting her chef colleagues to ensure the service and presentation of the competition table is first-class, said: “We researched and found studies revealing that up to 14% of the UK population are vegetarian, with 31% making efforts to eat less meat for health or ethical reasons.

“We decided on this dish as we think it’s important to create and provide a wider variety of vegetarian options within today’s fine dining arena.”

Chef tutor Mark Jones said: “I’m very impressed with their success so far with this competition which is highly-renowned in the catering industry. They’ve been imaginative and precise, showing great attention to detail, research and have worked brilliantly as a team – showcasing everything they’ve learnt over the last three years.

“I have no doubts that they will continue to impress the judges at Toque D’Or and I’m looking forward to accompanying them to Manchester next month.”

The Toque D'Or is designed to bridge the gap between the classroom, work-based learning and the reality of the industry. Its aim is to inspire the next generation of talented young chefs to develop their skills, knowledge and experience.

More about Toque D’Or

Nestle Professional Toque D’Or began in 1989 and since then has evolved to become one of the UK’s most prestigious catering competitions. Being part of this competition can change a student’s career, with the industry recognising that Toque D’Or students have demonstrated true passion and commitment.

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