The competition was hosted in the state-of-the-art training kitchens at the College’s Kings Road site, and gave students the chance to win £2,000 and a work placement at the Michelin starred Lucknam Park Hotel, near Bath.
The competition, which was held on Thursday 22 May was open to students from further education colleges across the region. The competition was run in memory of Ray Kenny, a highly regarded chef who sadly died in 2007. Born in Dublin, Ray trained as a chef at the Dorchester Hotel, London and at various hotels in Switzerland. Ray taught catering at Ealing College and Cardiff University for many years where he influenced and passed on his vast skills to a new generation of student chefs.
All competitors cooked a starter, main and dessert, with a Westcountry theme, on a budget of just £15, and presented it to judges on the day. In a previous year, College student, Jade Stephens won the competition and following her work placement at the Lucknam Park Hotel was offered full-time employment by Executive Chef, Hywel Jones along with fellow student, Richard Henderson who was talent spotted at the competition! Jade was a judge at this year’s competition alongside her boss Hywel Jones and was delighted to return to her college where her career journey began.
The winner was Tom Hillier, a student from the Nathan Outlaw Academy at Cornwall College, with a very close runner up Holly Parrish from City College Plymouth.
Helen Marshall, Head of Curriculum for Catering and Hospitality at the College, said: “The Ray Kenny Bursary is a fantastic opportunity for our students to really challenge themselves and demonstrate their skills, and potential in competing for this prestigious award.
“We are very proud of all four of our students who put themselves forward to compete, and in particular for Holly who really demonstrated her culinary skills and ability to cope under pressure. The standard of dishes produced was exceptionally high, from all competitors, and the judges had a difficult job. Holly’s dishes were consistent, extremely well presented and she displayed excellent product knowledge. Holly is studying the Level 2 Professional Chef Diploma and Food and Drink Service, having completed level 1 last year. Clearly her hard work and motivation, together with the mentoring expertise of her tutor Larry Moody has paid off.”
Ray’s wife Isabelle, who set up the competition and bursary, said: “The aim of the competition and bursary is to widen the horizons of budding chefs in the Westcountry, and to keep Ray Kenny’s legacy of haute cuisine and traditional tastes alive!”
City College Plymouth is recruiting now for hospitality and catering courses starting in September. For further information please call 01752 305300.