At Nestlé Professional we believe professional culinary challenges are a vital part of any apprentice’s training. Through this competition we aim to help apprentices gain confidence in their culinary skills whilst enhancing personal development. We recognise that to be successful in today’s competitive world, a chef needs to be more than just a cook. Therefore, besides creative cooking and serving, Toque d’Or will also challenge apprentices to plan and communicate effectively and demonstrate business acumen to market their offerings
Open to apprentices at commis level, Toque d’Or is designed to provide ample opportunities for entrants to interact and network with judges, experts and industry partners as well as explore different avenues within the hospitality industry.
“Competitions such as Toque d’Or are important as it’s always good to be able to pitch yourself against people of an equal standing to see how your career is progressing and to see where you are with your industry… It’s a competition that employers want to win for their establishment as they want the best for their apprentices.”
Simon Hulstone, The Elephant Restaurant and Brasserie & Apprentice Competition Chair of Judges
4 September – 15 December 2017
Registering couldn’t be easier! Simply complete the registration form online by 15 December 2017. Apprentices can register themselves, providing they have their employer’s consent, which will be requested via email. Without this, an apprentice will not be selected to progress to the National Heats. An employer can register their apprentices and there is no limit to the number a single business can register.
We will be communicating all of the need to know information for the competition via email. Please make sure you tick the box on the registration form that confirms you are happy to receive these communications and ensure your apprentice opts in after receiving their first email.
The digital entry is the first stage of competition in Toque d’Or. Once an apprentice has been registered an information pack will be emailed to all with a breakdown of this stage.
Apprentices will receive a themed creative brief whereby the teams will be asked to respond to a situation including:
- The application and understanding of a theme set by Nestlé Professional
- The development of recipes, methods and costing
- Event/business planning
- Submission of a video presentation of their response.
This must be submitted within the timeframe provided by Toque d’Or. Submissions will be made online allowing apprentices to send in supporting documentation and videos via YouTube.
As soon as registration has been confirmed, apprentices can start working on their entry. Over the course of entry we will send supporting material and stimulation to aid their entry.
February - March 2018
During the National Heats, apprentices will be asked to recreate their signature dish for 4 covers. Our judging team, led by Michelin Starred Chef Simon Hulstone, will then select just six apprentices to proceed to the Grand Finals.
Apprentices will have 1 hour to prepare and serve the 4 covers of their dish. An additional 30 minutes will be allocated for station set-up.
Judging will be based on the following criteria:
- Planning and organisational skills
- Complexity of the dish
- Culinary skills displayed
- Portion size, seasoning, flavour, texture and appearance
- Health, safety and hygiene
In order to proceed to the National Heats, selected apprentices must have the consent of their employer.
The Grand Finals
Set over a number of days, the six finalists will now compete in a series of challenges that test a range of skills and abilities. Held in London, we will connect you with the best of the Hospitality industry to push our contestants in the areas of:
- Skills and Knowledge Challenges
- Industry Partnerships
- Events and Banqueting
- Marketing and Commercial
This is the opportunity to experience life in a professional environment – interact, work with and learn from masters in the field.
Make an impact at this final stage of the competition!
8 June 2018
The winner of the Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or Apprentice Competition will be announced alongside the winner of the college competition at the glittering Awards ceremony at The Dorchester in May. This event will be witnessed by over 300 industry guests. Each participating company will be invited to attend the event along with our industry partners who help to support us throughout the Toque d’Or journey.
Toque d’Or is about learning experience and this doesn’t stop at the challenges. We aim to provide winners with the opportunity to further their culinary experience and gain new skills working with renowned chefs. Those competing in the Grand Finals will also receive commemorative uniforms.The winner’s prize includes:
- A week’s stage at a high end restaurant
- Dinner for the apprentice and a guest at the same restaurant
- £300 voucher to spend on equipment at Russums
We’re here to help you and your business. Whether you’re looking for creative food and drink solutions or need specific information on our range of products or services, just ask and we’d be happy to help. You can get in touch with us in a number of different ways.
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