Three Catering and Hospitality students from Riverside College have impressed the judges at a prestigious Salon Culinaire Competition last week and came home with a one gold and two silver medals.
The national competition which attracts some of the largest colleges and universities throughout the UK took place at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College in Nuneaton last week and saw over 200 students compete in various categories.
This was the first time catering students from Riverside College have competed in a Salon Culinaire competition but after their success in the British Culinary Federation ‘Student Cook and Serve’ competition last year, when the Riverside team reached the national finals the students and catering tutors felt ready to go head to head with some of the top catering colleges in the UK.
John Ellis and Hayden Waite from Runcorn and Kayleigh Owen from Warrington, who are all studying professional cookery at the College, entered the completion with each of them creating an imaginative trio of chocolates to amaze the judges.
John, who was awarded a gold medal, had an Asian inspired theme with a salted caramel chocolate, a lemon grass chocolate and a basil infused chocolate, impressed the judges with his originality.
Kayleigh from Warrington created a sweet liquor trio of Framboise raspberry chocolate, a Star anise and honey chocolate and a Cointreau truffle chocolate and was awarded a silver medal from the judges. Kayleigh said, “The whole experience was fantastic. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was really nervous but am really pleased with my results. I am currently studying on the level 3 Professional Cookery and during this year as part of my course I have to complete a module on tempering chocolate, entering in this competition has given me some great ideas and experience for my qualification.”
Hayden created a trio of Baileys, Chai Tea and Amoretto chocolates and was also presented with a silver medal for his entry. He said, “I was really pleased to have been chosen to compete in this competition. I put a lot of thought into my chocolates and am really proud of my silver medal. I am planning on doing the level 3 in Professional Cookery next year and I would like to compete in this competition again next year.”
Rob Swindon, Catering Tutor at Riverside College said, “The students had to start preparing their creations at College and then travel to Nuneaton to finish them off in front of the judges. They also had to speak to the judges to explain the flavours and the inspiration for their chocolates. It was a great experience for the students and I am really proud of all of them. This is the first time we have completed in a difficult completion like this and the students were extremely professional and conducted themselves really well.
“The student’s success is perfect timing to coincide with the launch the Centre of Excellence for Catering and Hospitality and refurbishment of our training restaurant, Scholars. I am hoping for more success this year when we travel to Stratford-Upon-Avon again to compete in the finals of the British Culinary Federation ‘Student Cook and Serve Team of the Year 2014’.”