At the end of May, catering students from Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) competed in the National Wessex Salon Culinaire competition at Brockenhurst College, New Forest.
Five students – three adult Patisserie NVQ Level 3 and two 16-18 NVQ Level 3 Professional Cookery students – attended the competition along with Catering Lecturer Neal Hook and Patisserie Lecturer Mitsie Butler, and were delighted to storm away with four gold medals and one silver medal. Patisserie Lecturer Mitsie commented, “I’m so proud of all the students who participated in the competition – they all did an amazing job.”
The Wessex Salon Culinaire is the largest live culinary competition in the UK and is organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs and offers participants the chance to show case their skills and expertise in front of a live audience of judges and food professionals.
Professional Cookery NVQ Level 3 student, Yun bi, walked away with a gold medal for Knife Skills after having 15 minutes to produce the French knife cuts Brunoise-Julienne-Paysanne and fine dice. Matthieu Haskins, another NVQ Level 3 student at RuTC, participated in the Live Hot competition, where chefs prepare a lamb main course in 30 minutes and won a silver for his dish.
RuTC adult students Renelle Ly-Pearce and Manza Sarpong, studying NVQ Level 3s in Patisserie, were the only two competitors to take home gold medals for preparing and decorating 12 cupcakes each. Their decorating and piping skills combined with their flavour combinations was described as “outstanding and faultless” by a team of judges considered the best in their industry - including head judge Corporal Ian Mark, who won the Bake off Crème de la Crème in 2017.
Part-time adult Patisserie student, Sherie Lam, was awarded the final gold medal for her prepared pastries which demonstrated a wide variety of techniques and skills, making her the only chef to win gold in her category.
CEO and Principal of RuTC, Robin Ghurbhurun, said, “The Catering Department at Richmond upon Thames College put in a lot of work with our students, and the success achieved at this prestigious competition is evidence of the outstanding teaching and learning that takes place on our catering courses”.