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Two aspiring student chefs take home RuTC's first ever Young Chef award

Thursday 2 April 2015

The final of RuTC's Young Chef of the Year 2015 was judged by BAFTA Head Chef, Anton Manganaro, along with Richmond upon Thames College's Head of Catering, James Unwin. Six teams of Year 10 students from surrounding London schools battled it out for the prestigious title during an exciting evening of restaurant service, with Bella Thomas and Megan Simpson from Hampton Academy receiving the winner's title.


The competition began in January, with entrants submitting a multiple choice test, along with a two course menu planning task. With an exceptional response, 14 teams were chosen to attend the semi-finals.

During the semi-finals the teams of Year 10s and 11s gained experience in our training kitchens, attached to Merits restaurant. Each team was judged on enthusiasm, commitment and technical skills. The catering staff picked six deserving teams to go through to the final. The teams were from Orleans Park School, Richmond Park Academy, Acton High School, Chiswick High School, Gumley House Convent School and Hampton Academy.

During the final the teams were tasked with preparing a two course meal for 10 guests with support from our current trainee chefs. The atmosphere was electric in the kitchen during the final, we witnessed 12 future chefs working with such intent and vigour over their creations.

Parents, teachers and college staff gathered together at Merits Restaurant to support and critique the two course meals, judging the teams on their precision, creativity and flavour.

The RuTC Young Chef of the Year 2015 competition allowed students to experience what it is like to study catering at college. It was also a chance for parents to get to know Richmond upon Thames College, the teachers and the staff and to share with us the experience of having a daughter or son who loves cooking. Here is what they said:

'My daughter always leaves the kitchen in a mess. She's not so good at tidying up but she's an amazing cook so I don't mind,'Tracey Pearson, proud mother of Lily Pearson from Gumley House Convent School

Image Proud mother from Gumlely House Convent School at the Young Chef of the Year awards at RuTC

'Of course I know what my daughter is cooking tonight. She's been practising all week. I've had to eat tarragon chicken five days in a row!'
Kathy Andrews, the proud mother of Lauren Andrews from Orleans Park School.

Image of proud mother from Orleans Park School at the Young Chef awards at RUTC

'Our son's been cooking since he was 5! He would help our elderly neighbour make salmon sandwiches every weekend. Now that he's older he can make a great chicken curry,'Mr Mirza, the proud father of Mohammed Ahmed from Acton High School.

Image Proud parents of student from Acton High School at the Young Chef of the Year awards at RuTC

'This country has come a long way. London is now at the forefront of culinary excellence in the world. It is a great time to get into the restaurant industry by studying to become a chef,' Anton Manganaro, BAFTA Head Chef.

Image Anton Maganaro BAFTA Head Chef announcing Young Chef of the Year winners

Congratulations to all the teams who entered. We will be sending out details of next year's competition in September 2015.
Apply now to study catering and hospitality at Richmond upon Thames College.

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