The Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or 2017 College National Heats saw 24 teams from across the UK take on a lunch service challenge set by a line-up of expert judges.
The Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or 2017 College National Heats saw 24 teams from across the UK take on a lunch service challenge set by a line-up of expert judges. The heats took place across 4 days; 28 February and 1 March at Trafford College and 2-3 March at Westminster Kingsway College, with 6 teams competing at each heat.
On arrival, teams witnessed a masterclass hosted by Nestlé Professional Chef Darren Chapman who was joined by our guest chef team. Chef Adam Bateman, Group Exec Chef for Principal Hotels, James Buckley, Exec Chef for Compass UK&I, Lukasz Cichon, Executive Chef for Levy Restaurant UK and Julie Jones, a previous Toque d’Or winner, author and Chef. The judges demonstrated a three course lunch, supported by Alison Gilbert and Neil Philips who provided advice and guidance on service including wine pairing. The challenge was then set! Each college team must cook and serve ten covers of the lunch to the judges and guests of Nestlé Professional. With a 1.5 hour time limit for all preparation and to start service, the teams were in for a busy service.
Following the masterclass teams were given planning time with their lecturer, with the judges on hand to answer any burning questions. This time was to be critical to their success; a clear plan and task list would ensure a smooth service and happy guests! At exactly 12pm the competition begun and whilst the kitchen staff began their prep, front of house ensured that the restaurant was set up to their standards, ready to receive their guests.
A new element to Toque d’Or 2017 is the finalist Wild Card team. This was designed to give those students who stand out from the crowd a chance at making it to the Grand Finals. Therefore, all competitors at the National Heats were not only being judged as their college team but also as individuals…
Following an intense 4 days of competition our judges had to deliberate and come to agreement on the teams who were to progress to the finals. Congratulations to everyone who took part and to those who have made it through to the next stage!
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