College hosts prestigious cookery competition

Leading chefs from venues across the country held their annual ‘Cook and Serve’ competition at Cambridge Regional College’s Park Restaurant – with three lucky students having a chance to see the experts at work.

Matt Garcia, Daniel Stamp and Ben Hanson took full advantage of the offer of hands-on work experience at the Venues of Excellence annual competition, which saw 14 teams pitted against each other in a test of cookery and front of house skills.

 They provided practical help for the teams in the college’s catering kitchens and in the Restaurant, helping the event go smoothly and benefiting from a close-up view of the experts in action.

Lecturer Theresa Van Ruth, who facilitated the organisation of the competition, said it had been a fantastic experience for the students.

“Watching top chefs work at this level makes them more aware of competitions, which we encourage them to enter, and gives them the chance to see the intensity and hard work that is needed to perform well,” she said.

“All three of the students are planning on entering the annual Passion to Inspire competition and seeing the experts at work helps them understand the importance of planning and organisation, as well as skill.”

Fourteen venues took part in the competition, including Wyboston Lakes in St Neots, with each chef having to cook up a three-course meal from scratch in just over two hours. All the dishes had to be suitable to serving at a conference.

Barry Stonham, Chairman of the Venues of Excellence Cook and Serve challenge, said the college had been the perfect setting for the competition.

As ever, the kitchens and restaurant were in marvelous condition, and provided the perfect setting for the competition, and the help provided by Theresa and the students was invaluable. All the competitors, and the invited diners, were most complimentary about the whole set-up,” he said.

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For more information, please contact Lynn O’Shea, Cambridge Regional College Press Officer, on 01223 418773 or email loshea@camre.ac.uk