STUDENT chefs from Warrington & Vale Royal College are celebrating after returning from the Welsh Culinary Championships with 22 medals, including the gold medal for the Inter-College team challenge.
The competition, which took place in Llandrillo, North Wales, saw 17 of the college’s talented Hospitality & Culinary Arts students compete against hundreds of entrants to bring home an impressive 8 certificates of merit, 10 bronze medals, 5 silver medals and 7 gold medals.
Professional Cookery course leader Scott Surtees said: “This is the third time Warrington & Vale Royal College has competed in the Welsh International Culinary Championships. The past two years we came home with the silver medal for the Inter-College team challenge so to be able to finally return with the gold medal, as well as an array of other awards too, is a brilliant achievement. It’s testament to how passionate we are as a department, and as a college, about ensuring learners gain the essential practical skills, and the knowledge, to go on and succeed in the industry.”
This year’s Inter-College Team was made up of students Mikolaj Mozul, Dan Jones, James Tomkins and captained by course leader Scott Surtees. Their winning menu consisted of four delicious courses made with ingredients from Birtwistles, Ribble Farm Fare and M&J Seafood.
Level 2 student Dan Jones said: “I competed in the Inter-College team challenge last year when we won the silver medal. As a team we were much stronger this year – we knew what to expect so were less nervous and determined to bring home the gold medal. Competing in the Welsh Culinary Championships has inspired me to work harder to achieve my goal of opening my own restaurant.”
Level 2 student Konrad Krasowski was also awarded two gold medals in the Knife Skills – Fruit Cuts and Butchery Skills – Cut Chicken for Sauté competition, and level 3 student Sara Lang-Harding won a gold medal in the Major Street Food Challenge.
Scott added: “As well as giving our students the chance to prove themselves as chefs, competitions like this further enhance what we are teaching them in the kitchens and the classrooms. It also boosts their confidence massively and it is rewarding for us as a college to be able to see student’s personal and professional development.”