The local heat for annual Hospitality competition A Passion to Inspire was held at West Suffolk College in April. [Wednesday 23 April 2014] The competition provides an opportunity for aspiring young Chefs and Front of House staff to showcase their skills.
Teams from West Suffolk College, Colchester Institute, City College Norwich, Suffolk New College and Cambridge Regional College are taking part this year. One team from each college will go through to the regional final, to be held at City College Norwich on Monday 9 June 2014.
The West Suffolk College heat was held in the practice kitchens on the main campus. In a closely fought contest, the team chosen to go through to represent West Suffolk College in the final was Team 1: Chefs Barney O’Connell, 21, from Great Cornard and Ryan Fielding, 19, from Glemsford and Front of House Nicola Sayers, 19, from Exning. [Full list of competitors below]
Organiser Murray Chapman said: “The food was presented well, it was enjoyable to eat. The people you served said they would have paid for those dishes, and you can’t get any higher compliment than that. At the end of the day, you are apprentices and I hope you have all learned something today. You should be proud of yourselves.”
In the first stage, the local heats, each group is given two hours to produce a main course and dessert for four covers. They are limited to a budget of £20, but can add extra items that have been foraged, shot, donated or self-grown outside this costing.
Two covers are served to invited guests, one to the Judges and one reserved to be photographed.
The three teams each had to produce a menu for the competition to include a matching wine. Presentation of the menu and the dishes was as important in the marking scheme as the dishes produced. Teams were encouraged to think about a theme and some added theatre with their presentation.
Front of House students were asked to produce a cocktail for two covers and were also questioned on their wine choice and the food they were presenting.
A Passion to Inspire is organised by Master Chef of Great Britain Murray Chapman of First Contact Chefs and supported by Loch Duart, Anglian Free Range Eggs, Direct Meats, CK Meats, Anglia Produce, Gourmet Classic, Dingley Dell Pork and Russums.