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Nestlé Professional’s Toque d’Or® – the hospitality industry’s most prestigious competition

Welcome to Nestlé Professional’s Toque d’Or®. Launched in 1989, the hospitality competition was born out of a passion for excellence, to inspire the next generation and to provide opportunities to further their knowledge in the hospitality industry.

The hospitality industry competition aims to educate and test entrants in both practical, service-based and business-focused tasks, concentrating on key areas such as social media promotion, business management and sustainable food and drink. Not only do these challenges provide valuable hands-on experience but they give the opportunity to work with and learn from leading industry experts and businesses judging the tasks.

New for 2021 Toque d’Or® hospitality competition

One of the key things we’ve learnt over the past year is the importance of our community. Never has it been more important to come together to celebrate our industry, inspire the next generation and provide key skills for them to succeed in their careers.

So… we’ve got some really exciting updates planned this year:

  • Along with students and apprentices, we’ll be opening the hospitality competition up to all young professionals at equivalent to commis chef, commis waiter, chef de partie role
  • We’ll be changing our timeline - heats will now take place in April, the finals in June and the awards in July
  • We’ll be retaining a strong digital element as the world moves more online
  • We’ll have a few new faces joining our judging panel – watch this space!

The theme of sustainable futures will remain at the centre of each challenge and will cover elements such as nutrition, health, food waste and seasonality, all while testing the contestants in new areas, techniques and working environments.


Why enter our hospitality industry competition?

Toque d’Or® is so much more than a competition -

  • It’s a unique experience aiming to inspire the next generation of chefs and foodservice enthusiasts
  • It’s an exciting challenge helping entrants gain both front and back-of-house experience while developing their skills and knowledge
  • It’s an opportunity for students and apprentices to bridge the gap between the classroom and the exciting reality of industry
  • It’s entirely free to enter

Toque d’Or® 2021 competition prizes

There will be 4 winners to the competition: 1 Back of House Student, 1 Back of House Apprentice / Young professional, 1 Front of House Student and 1 Front of House Apprentice / Young Professional. These winners will receive a once in a lifetime experiential foodie tour (destination TBC).

The Savoy Educational Trust will be supporting colleges through a generous prize fund again this year.  Each of the colleges taking part in the Grand Finals will win a prize worth £1k of kitchen equipment for their department (a total of 3x for Back of House and 3x Front of House).  What’s more, the Back of House and Front of House winning colleges will win an additional £2500 each to put towards equipment that benefits the students.

While winning the prestigious Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or® is an accolade in itself, we at Toque d’Or think it’s important to award prizes at all stages of the competition.

All competitors taking part in the digital entry will receive a Toque d’Or® certificate. Those going on to the heats and finals will receive commemorative uniforms as well as goodies for example in form of equipment.

All travel and accommodation arrangements are made and paid for by Nestlé Professional®. We will also provide the necessary commemorative uniforms, all ingredients and in fact everything required to compete.

The history of Toque d'Or

Now in its 33rd year, Nestlé Professional’s Toque d’Or® continues to be recognised as an influential training and development initiative and is unique in its focus on both Back and Front of House staff.

The competition has evolved significantly since its inauguration in line with the changing needs of the UK foodservice and education industry.

The Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or® college competition began in 1989 and was focused on students at colleges.

In 2017 we opened up the competition to apprentices, as they too are participating in a first-class structured programme.

In 2020, in response to the pandemic, and to ensure that Nestlé Professional can continue to inspire and support the next generation of hospitality professionals, the competition finals and awards were held virtually. Finalists will compete in a series of relevant and timely digital challenges, via Zoom working both individually and in pairs to create a mix of pre-recorded and live sessions from their homes.

Roll of honour

Our roll of honour shows the select few students, colleges and apprentices that have won the prestigious Toque d'Or award since it began.

Students and Colleges

2020 FOH Alex Dick, City of Glasgow College

2020 BOH Katherine Altham, Kendal College

2019 University College Birmingham

2018 City of Glasgow College

2017 University College Birmingham

2016 University College Birmingham

2015 Westminster Kingsway College

2014 City of Glasgow College

2013 South West College

2012 Westminster Kingsway College

2011 University College Birmingham

2010 University College Birmingham

2009 North Devon College

2008 Carlisle College

2007 Blackpool & The Fylde College

2006 South Trafford College

2005 Westminster Kingsway College

2004 Carlisle College

2003 Sheffield College

2002 Neath Port Talbot College

2001 Neath Port Talbot College

2000 Glenrothes College

1999 Southampton City College

1998 Glenrothes College

1997 Bournemouth & Poole College

1996 John Wheatley College

1995 Thanet College

1994 Motherwell College

1993 Colchester College

1992 Thanet College

1991 Brunel College of Technology

1990 Motherwell College

1989 Brighton College of Technology


2020 FOH Chelsie Robinson, The Cross Keys Stow

2020 BOH Lily Stock, Boodles

2019 Drew Dawson, The Ned

2018 Mateusz Hnatowski, Restaurant

2017 Charlie Stockwell, Galvin la Chapelle

2016 Luka Seddon, CH&Co