Sheffield College catering and hospitality staff and students have won a haul of medals at the country’s largest food service and hospitality event.
Four staff - Maxene Gray, Chris Kerigan, Gregg Rodgers and Len Unwin - and 10 students clinched two gold medals and a silver one at Hotelympia staged at the Excel in London.
They took part in Salon Culinaire, which comprises more than 80 competition classes, over four days to showcase the impressive skills and talent within the industry.
Staff competed in the decorative sugar centrepiece, novelty cake and chocolate centerpiece categories. College students were invited by the Craft Guild of Chefs to make live canapés for 60 VIP guests, attending the Hotelympia La Parade des Chefs competition, in three-and-a-half hours - for which they won a gold medal.
Maxene Gray, Lecturer, said: “We had to choose a theme, so we chose The Taste of Yorkshire. Most of our canapés included a Yorkshire element such as forced rhubarb , Henderson's Relish , Yellison’s goats cheese, Yorkshire Blue Cheese, Parkin and Whitby Crab."
She added: “It was one of the proudest moments in my teaching career having three different levels of students working together supporting each other in such a prestigious competition. Being the overall winner was a huge achievement."
Student Isabella Palmer, 17, who is completing the Professional Chef Diploma at Level 2, said: “Taking part in the competition was a very enjoyable experience. It helped to develop my professional skills and knowledge, and reinforced the importance of being able to work under pressure and to deadline. I am really enjoying my course. I love the teaching and the facilities because they are so closely connected to the industry environment.”
Student Jake Hurst, 17, who is studying for a Catering and Hospitality Diploma at Level 2, said: “The feeling from winning a gold medal really fills me with pride and to do with such a friendly, enthusiastic and hard working team alongside fantastic lecturers really is a proud achievement that will stay with me. The teaching is impeccable and the lecturers have a strong background in the industry.”
This year's Hotelympia took place from February 29th to March 3rd. For more information about catering courses and the Sheffield College's April open evenings taking place today and next week, for full-time courses starting in September, click here.
Heather Smith, Principal, The Sheffield College, added: “The talent of our catering and hospitality staff and students has yet again been shown to be exemplary. I am proud of their dedication and teamwork as well as their skills tested to such a high professional standard. Competing at this level ensures our students develop the career related experience and skills that employers need.”