Toque d’Or offers students at catering colleges and commis chef apprentices the chance to explore and experience what the hospitality industry has to offer them as a career. By partnering with businesses from all streams of industry we are able to showcase the vast opportunities on offer for these young people as well as provide them with the chance to build their network.
Over 80 college teams and 170 apprentices from across the UK and Ireland registered to take part in this year’s competition. Through 2 tough stages of competition – Digital Entry and National Heats – the 6 top performers in each category were selected to take part in the Grand Finals. The lucky finalists spent a week in London being put through their paces in a series of challenges with Billingsgate and Smithfield Markets, Las Iguanas, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and Le Cordon Bleu London. To round off the week, the finalists were challenged to deliver a 3 course fine dining lunch for 120 guests in Searcys at The Gherkin – quite literally finishing on a high!
On 8 June, 300 industry guests, including our Grand Finalists, gathered at The Dorchester, London for the Toque d’Or 2018 awards lunch. Hosted by Mark Durden-Smith and Angellica Bell the event showcased the journey competitors had been on, as well as giving key industry figures the chance to voice their opinion on the importance of nurturing talent, encouraging guests to think about the small changes that can be made to have a bigger impact on the industry.
The event reached its crescendo with the all-important announcement of the Toque d’Or 2018 winners. City of Glasgow College pipped it to the post taking home the trophy for the College Competition and Mateusz Hnatowski of Restaurant Associates took the top spot in the Apprentice Competition.
College Competition Winners: City of Glasgow College
(l-r Rebecca Ward, Anton Mosimann OBE, Antonia Macfarlane, Alan Martin and Darren Seggie)
Apprentice Competition Winner: Mateusz Hnatowski, Restaurant Associates
(l-r Steve Norris, Sales Director Nestlé Professional UK&I and Mateusz Hnatowski)
To celebrate the 30th anniversary, this year’s winners are getting their hands on a number of incredible prizes including cooking with Chef James Tanner in his restaurant at Royal Ascot, working with Chef Adam Bateman to deliver a fine dining dinner for the most important UK company directors in hospitality, attending a Canapé & Wine pairing course at Le Cordon Bleu London, and many more!
“The Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or competition is of massive importance to our industry. Embracing young talent by giving them the opportunity to learn and compete to such a high standard of competition where they gain an insight into all aspects of industry. The experience is one they will always remember and because of the competition we have more keen and professional future stars promoting and joining our industry year on year, well done and thank you Nestlé Professional for creating something truly unique and special.”
James Tanner, College Competition Head of Judges
To find out more about Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or and how you can get involved contact us on [email protected]