Nestle Professional Toque d’Or® is one of the most prestigious competitions in the hospitality industry. The competition gives ambitious students and apprentices the opportunity to learn from the best in the business and win the coveted gold Toque d’Or badge.
Now in its 32nd year, Toque d'Or has been the launchpad for some of the industry’s biggest success stories. For many, the thought of taking part can be overwhelming, but Faiha Ahmed, who was part of the 2019 competition’s winning college team, wants to encourage people to go for it.
“When I entered last year, I hardly had any experience, and I really didn’t think I was good enough. But being put forward for the competition gave me the confidence I needed to realise it might be something I could do.”
This year, changes to the competition mean that there are more front of house opportunities than ever before. Colleges can enter individual front of house students, and front of house apprentices can also apply, alongside their chef counterparts.
The BA Hospitality and Tourism Management student, Faiha entered Toque d’or 2019 just a year and a half into her studies at University College Birmingham, and says it is one of the best decisions she ever made.
Faiha, who worked front of house throughout the competition, says that, if anything, the fact she was relatively inexperienced helped.
“I was like a sponge, I learned so much. My knowledge has expanded, and I have really developed my skills; I absolutely loved the experience from start to finish, it has taught me so much.”
Faiha said that once she had entered, it was all about the experience, and that winning was something she’d never really contemplated, but as a team, they really clicked.
“It was an incredible experience and I feel so proud,” said Faiha, “So my advice to anyone who is not sure if they should enter or not, is just go for it! What have you got to lose?”
Register for Toque d'Or 2020 now!