Students from this year’s Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge have reason to celebrate, with one having been offered the opportunity to ditch his student card and become a professional chef in the kitchens at Harrods and another team invited to cook in parliament.
Nathan Gayle, a member of the competition winning Westminster Kingsway College team, impressed Allister Bishop, Executive Sous Chef at Harrods and competition judge, during the regional heats and final of the Student Chef Team Challenge and following a trial was offered a full-time role in the kitchen.
Nathan explains: “All the third year students at Westminster Kingsway College had the opportunity to go for the role but not everyone was involved in the competition. The competition gave me the opportunity to cook for Allister twice, which allowed me to showcase my skills and demonstrate what I was capable of under pressure – this was a big confidence boost and probably helped to give me the edge.”
The South Lanarkshire College team, who came third in this year’s competition, have also received an unexpected bonus, with the team invited to showcase their skills before the Scottish Parliament.
David Auchie, Chef Lecturer at South Lanarkshire College, explains: “It was explained clearly to the team at the outset of the competition that such is the quality of the Brakes Competition that only hard work and dedication and using the finest quality local ingredients would ensure success.
“It’s been a great experience. When the team won the Scottish regional heat it was recognised by the MSP for South Lanarkshire who then invited them to cook their winning menu at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Not only has the Brakes competition created opportunity it has also encouraged an impeccable team spirit and confidence, something which money cannot buy.”
Natalie Mathieson, South Lanarkshire College Catering Student, commented, “We are all very proud of what we have achieved on our culinary journey.
“On a personal level it has developed and enhanced my craft skills and given me a self-belief that anything can be achieved with commitment and true dedication.”