A trio of Level 3 Hospitality & Catering students from Doncaster College have recently been taking part in the Nestlé Toque d’Or competition aiming for the grand prize of a lifetime experiential foodie tour and an additional £2,500 to put towards kitchen equipment for the college. Students, Jack Towler, Peter Williams, and Saeed Farhadi are all competing against other students up and down the country for the prestigious title of Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or winner and a place on the Roll of Honour alongside 32 years’ worth of previous winners.
As part of the competition entry, the three students had to film a short video of themselves explaining why they are passionate about food, sustainability, and nutrition. These are all key to the nationwide competition as they state, “The theme of sustainable futures will remain at the centre of each challenge and will cover elements such as nutrition, health, food waste and seasonality, all while testing the contestants in new areas, techniques and working environments.”
Excitingly all three of the Doncaster College entrants go through to the heats of the hospitality industry competition and got their first chance to show the judges a preview of their cooking skills. The students had to produce a dish of sage gnocchi and tomato ragu based on a base recipe provided by the competition, which they could adapt to their liking. They were provided a £20 budget by Nestle and were asked to produce 6 portions of their dish; 2 were plated as if for a restaurant. The remaining 4 portions were packaged in recyclable packaging provided by the competition and were given away via the ‘Olio’ app, a zero-waste app where users can get food for free, from other users.
Chef Lecturer, Simon Barton, who has been one of the lecturers overseeing the competition here at Doncaster College commented “All the students did excellent with their dishes, they looked and tasted brilliant. They used sustainable and seasonal ingredients to enhance the base recipe, such as asparagus and forages wild garlic. This competition had put a lot of work on to the students and they have done really well.”
When speaking about his involvement in the competition so far, Catering student Peter Williams said, “I’m hoping this is just the beginning, I’ve seen other students enter before which inspired me to do the same. It’s going to be a really good test of my skills and I’m hoping I can do Doncaster College proud.”
Now that the students have submitted their entries for the heats, all they can do is wait to see which of them will get through to the next round. Well done to those competing for getting this far and good luck for the next round of the competition.