Toque d’Or 2020 Hospitality Competition Goes Digital

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Toque d'Or Digital Logo

In response to the pandemic and to ensure that Nestlé Professional can continue to inspire and support the next generation of hospitality professionals, even more so during this period of uncertainty, the Toque d’Or 2020 Finals and Hospitality Awards will be delivered virtually.

Nestlé Professional®’s Toque d’Or 2020 goes digital

Earlier this year, Nestlé Professional made the difficult decision to postpone its prestigious Toque d’Or Finals and Awards, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. With large gatherings not likely to be possible for the foreseeable, hospitality and events businesses are adapting to a new virtual world and so is Toque d’Or…


Toque d’Or 2020 Hospitality Competition

The 24 front and back of house finalists will compete in a series of relevant and timely digital challenges, which aim to further their knowledge and provide them with the tools needed to learn and adapt to the current situation. The educational challenges will take place between 10th – 14th August 2020, via Zoom, and will see the finalists working both individually and in pairs to create a mix of pre-recorded and live sessions from their homes.

Each task has been devised to enhance the next generation of hospitality stars’ skill set, so that they can play a key role in helping the industry to thrive in a post COVID-19 world and enrich their career development. As such, our hospitality competition will feature a mix of practical, service-based and business-focused challenges, in areas such as social media, business management and sustainable food and drink.


Katya Simmons, Managing Director of Nestle Professional® UK & Ireland, comments:

“When we postponed the finals back in March, our focus was to ensure that the rescheduled finale would meet the demands of the situation we found ourselves in, but also that it would provide a new level of challenge and range of skills for our finalists to test themselves with. We are delighted with the innovation that our team has shown to construct a final fitting of the Toque d’Or name. We wish all of our competitors the best of luck and hope they enjoy the occasion that they have worked so hard to be a part of.” 

The theme of sustainable futures will be 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. 


Toque contestant holding an iPad


Meet this year’s Toque d’Or Hospitality Awards judges and partners

To support the contestants through the process will be this year’s panel of expert judges:

  • Adam Bateman, Group Operations and Development Chef at Intercontinental Hotels Group
  • James Tanner, Acclaimed Chef and Restauranteur 
  • Ruth Hansom, the first female to win Young National Chef of the Year and contestant of this year’s Great British Menu
  • Allison Taffs, Owner at Allison Taff’s People Development and The Grape Society
  • Robert Smith, Creative Director and Producer at Shuttersmith.


Adam Bateman, Group Operations and Development Chef at Intercontinental Hotels Group and Head of Judges for Toque d’Or 2020, commented:

“Our aim with the Toque d’Or competition has always been to challenge the contestants and provide them with a broad range of skills that can be used to further their careers in the hospitality sector. The rescheduling of the finals gave us the opportunity to push them, and the judging team, even further with a wider range of digital challenges at home, and we are excited to see how the finalists take on these tasks. On behalf of the judging team, I would like to say congratulations to our contestants for getting this far and we look forward to seeing how you embrace this new digital challenge.”


The judges have been instrumental in developing the new challenges and will be looking for the contestants’ passion and knowledge to shine through the camera lens, as well as their ability to be flexible and adapt to the virtual format and their understanding of the new hospitality landscape. Helping the judges to select the Hospitality Awards winner will also be this year’s partners who help to make the challenges possible. These include: WSET, Mulmar, Nescafé , Olio and Footprint Media

Other valued supporters of this year’s Toque d’or include: PACE; HIT Training; Savoy Educational Trust; Russums; and Springboard.

As one of the UK’s most influential hospitality competitions, Nestlé Professional’s Toque d’Or hopes to bring the industry together following a difficult period to celebrate the up and coming talent in the sector and support the contestants through their Toque d’Or journey. Each of the challenges will be available to watch or live stream via the Toque d’Or social channels and YouTube page, with the winners being crowned via a live virtual awards ceremony at the beginning of September


Get involved and cheer on the contestants via: 
Twitter: @NestleToquedor
Facebook: nestleToquedor
Instagram: @nestletoquedor

Are you a chef, hospitality professional or business in the hospitality industry and want to learn more about the Toque d’Or Competition? 

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