Toque d’Or® 2019 hots up as finalists are announced

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Student chefs plating up dishes

Final six college teams and apprentices will be put through their paces in the Grand Final in competition focused on sustainable futures


The wait is over: After a thrilling programme of National Heats, we have revealed the six college teams and six apprentices that will compete in the Grand Finals of Toque d’Or 2019 on 30th April – 4th May 2019

The results were announced as new research revealed that over half (56%) of those working in foodservice believe more interesting training and development opportunities such as study tours, competitions and secondments are key to making a career in the industry more attractive.

During the National Heats, which took place in Glasgow, Birmingham, Westminster and Gatwick, 24 college teams and 48 apprentices took part in a series of challenges centred around this year’s competition focus: Sustainable Futures


Students jumping for joy at the Nestlé Professional's Toque d'Or competition


For the college teams, this meant a three-course vegetarian meal masterclass with wine pairing. They then had to recreate the meal with full service to a table of eight guest diners plus the competition judges. The apprentices were tasked with producing four covers of their original vegetarian dish in just 1.5 hours to serve to the judges, which for the heats included Paul Mannering, Chef Academy Principal at HIT Training and Adam Bateman, Group Operations and Development Chef at InterContinental Hotels. 

After a rigorous judging process, the grand finalists have been selected:

Colleges Finalists

  • City of Glasgow College
  • Southern Regional College
  • University College Birmingham
  • University of Derby
  • Westminster Kingsway

Apprentices Finalists

  • Dmitri Zihharko, Connect Catering
  • Megan Baldock, Goldman Sachs
  • Kathleen Davie, Upper Shirley High
  • Jack Baldwin, The Bruce Arms
  • Lily Stock, Boodles
  • Drew Dawson, The Ned


Commenting on this year’s heats, Mick Burke, Chair of Judges at Toque d’Or 2019 and Fellow of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, said:

“Myself and my fellow judges were astounded at the standard of food service during the National Heats, selecting just 12 Grand Finalists certainly wasn’t an easy task. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they cope with our toughest trials yet and can’t wait to see what they produce. If the standard so far is anything to go by, it’ll be worth the wait”


Discussing the focus on Sustainable Futures, Katya Simmons, Managing Director at Nestlé Professional UK&I, added:

“It’s clear that sustainability will become even more of a key factor in the foodservice industry in coming years and lead to exciting new trends. In fact, our latest research shows that the industry considers sustainable eating to be one of the most exciting opportunities for foodservice in the future . I have been particularly pleased to see the level of enthusiasm that all competitors have demonstrated towards this year’s theme. The results have been impressive, and it goes to show what can be achieved when embracing a sustainable future”. 


Front of house student enjoying a master class of how to deliver great service


Register your interest for 2020 today!

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