Nineteen-year-old Louise Downs had to prepare and present two plated desserts, including a classic soufflé, within two hours.
Sponsored by the Master Chefs of Great Britain, the David Lyell Scholarship competition is open to pastry chefs aged 21 and under who work in a hotel or restaurant kitchen or train at college.
Louise is completing the Professional Chefs Diploma at Level 3 at The Sheffield College’s City campus on Granville Road. Her prize is a work placement with a top pastry chef.
“It was an amazing experience, and I feel really pleased to have done so well,” said Louise, who was one of three competitors shortlisted for the national final, which took place on November 7th at the College. The other competitors were from the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland and from the patissier chocolatier William Curley.
Mick Burke, Deputy Head of Hospitality, and Travel and Tourism, and one of only two Master Chefs of Great Britain Fellows in education in the UK, said: “Louise is a highly motivated, dedicated and organised student. Those qualities and her vocational skills helped her to clinch first place. For her to win against other industry professionals is incredible.”
Heather Smith, Principal, The Sheffield College, added: “I am very proud of Louise’s achievements and the staff who supported her to get this far. We are fortunate at The Sheffield College to have staff with the skills and dedication to support students to achieve the very highest of industry standards – no wonder we have a national reputation in this area.”
The College has a national reputation for catering and hospitality with staff and students winning many awards, and offers a range of bakery, catering and hospitality and patisserie courses. New developments include a foundation degree in bakery and patisserie technology that has just started this academic year.
The £1.2 million catering wing has the latest industry standard equipment and comprises six training kitchens including a bakery and patisserie.
Special features include bread retarders and prover ovens, six walk in fridges, blast freezers, top of the range ovens, a sous vidé suite, a smoking machine for fish, and ice cream machines. There are individual bespoke workstations for each student and an interactive white board in each kitchen.
Staff have strong connections to industry leading to valuable skills development, work placements and job opportunities for those they teach. Three catering staff are members of the prestigious Master Chefs of Great Britain.
To find out more about the College’s open days for full-time courses starting in September, visit http://www.sheffcol.ac.uk/open-days or call 0114 2602600.