Louise Downs, 19, Tom Lake, 18, and Matthew Steeper, 17, have just won this year’s UK Young Restaurant Team of the Year.
The students were tasked with creating a three-course Italian inspired meal. For the starter, they made squid ink linguine with Italian olive oil, a puttanesca sauce with mussels and clams, finished with shellfish foam.
The main course was roast chicken breast with nduja stuffed leg, peperonata and parmesan gnocchi, artichoke and turnip tops. For dessert they created a white chocolate semifreddo and lemon polenta cake with lemon curd, gianduja and meringue.
Student Tom Lake, 18, said: “It feels amazing to win this competition. It was nerve racking on the day. We’ve all put in a lot of hard work and extra hours of practise to get this far. We’ve learned a lot from taking part including teamwork and keeping calm under pressure.”
Heather Smith, Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “I am extremely proud of our catering and hospitality students and staff who have worked very hard to achieve this outstanding industry success. This fantastic achievement will provide our students with a great springboard for their future careers.”
The grand final took place during the Skills for Chefs conference hosted at The Sheffield College’s City campus on Granville Road on July 5th and 6th. The students’ mentors were Len Unwin and Maxene Gray.
Chef Andrew Bennett MBE, Chair of Judges, added: “The standard this year was the highest we have seen in the six year history of the competition. All teams must be congratulated on the improvements they made following the semi finals that were held earlier this year.”
The students have won an international study trip to Modena in Italy this September, and dinner at Osteria Francescana - ranked number one in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2016. The prize is sponsored by MSK Ingredients.
Five colleges competed in the grand final. The others taking part were Loughborough College, Milton Keynes College, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, and Penrith College.
Skills for Chefs is an annual event for industry professionals which showcases the knowledge and expertise of leading chefs, including top Michelin starred talent.
The event is organised by the University of Sheffield in partnership with The Sheffield College. Visit http://skillsforchefs.org.uk/. To find out more about full-time courses starting in September 2017, click here or call 0114 2602600.