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Culinary Excellence Takes Centre Stage: WorldSkills Culinary Arts Team UK Trains at Doncaster College for Shot at International Glory

Posted: 19/02/2024

Culinary Excellence Takes Centre Stage: WorldSkills Culinary Arts Team UK Trains at Doncaster College for Shot at International Glory

Doncaster College became the epicentre of culinary prowess as the WorldSkills Culinary Arts UK Squad descended upon its campus for a week-long training and development session. With aspirations of clinching victory at the prestigious WorldSkills competition, three talented young chefs engaged in rigorous training under the guidance of esteemed mentors, including WorldSkills Chief Expert, Sean Owens.

Describing the event as an opportunity to unearth future culinary leaders, Sean Owens remarked, “We are here to find the next and future leaders.” He added, “WorldSkills changes lives,” highlighting the transformative impact of the competition on participants’ careers.

Often dubbed the “Olympics of vocational cookery,” the WorldSkills competition is renowned for its ability to propel culinary careers to new heights, opening doors and nurturing exceptional talent within the industry. At Doncaster College, the participants had the privilege of working closely with Florian Poirot, UK Pastry Champion and proprietor of his eponymous Macaron shop. Under Poirot’s expert guidance, they honed their skills in crafting delectable and intricate patisseries, including an array of complex sponges, macarons, cakes, and chocolates.

Simon Barton, a Chef Lecturer at Doncaster College and a key figure in the WorldSkills UK initiative, expressed his enthusiasm for hosting the Culinary Arts Team UK, stating, “It is an amazing opportunity for our students to witness the possibilities within the industry and the level of skills they can aspire to achieve.”

The talented members comprising the United Kingdom squad include Georgia Abernath from Posh Nosh Catering Company, a gold medallist at the National finals; Oska Ready, an alumnus of Doncaster College currently working at DN1 Delicatessen and Dining; and Samantha Watkins, showcasing her skills at the prestigious Savoy Hotel under the mentorship of Gordon Ramsay.

Reflecting on her experience, Samantha Watkins shared, “It has been absolutely brilliant and mind-opening to explore the potential of different ingredients and skill sets.”

As the competition intensifies, one of these three exceptional competitors will have the honour of representing the United Kingdom in the finals, taking place in Leon, France. But first, they will face a live showdown in Belfast at the International Food Exhibition, where they will vie for victory in front of 7000 spectators. After judging from key players in the industry, one of these 3 talented young people will then be going to France.

With the spotlight firmly fixed on their journey, the Culinary Arts Team UK embodies the spirit of determination, skill, and excellence. As they embark on this thrilling adventure, we extend our best wishes to all involved, confident in their ability to shine on the world stage.