City of Glasgow College wins student challenge

The City of Glasgow College team has won the UK catering competition, Brakes Student Chef Team Challenge 2012/2013, as part of ScotHot 2013.

The teams were challenged to create a three-course menu inspired by the theme ‘Going Global with World Cuisine’ in one hour and 45 minutes.

The winning team prepared a starter that included scallop, crab cake and crispy prawns, followed by a main course of seared fillet of pork with confit pig cheeks and a passion fruit soufflé with chocolate and coconut mousse and mango sorbet for dessert.

Winners of the challenge were Vanessa Daley, Michael Sheddon and Neil Rowan, who took part when the challenge began last September when college teams were invited to submit a menu, methodology and costed list of ingredients.

Judge Mark Irish, head of Brakes’ development chefs, said: "The standard of cooking throughout this year’s challenge has been superb, but the City of Glasgow College team really stood out."

He added: "They took a bold approach to the theme and demonstrated a high level of skill. To cook dishes of this standard as part of a live final is a real achievement and Vanessa, Michael and Neil showed genuine talent to deliver such high-quality dishes under intense pressure. We hope the experience will prepare them for glittering careers in the future."

Eighty-five teams entered from 61 different colleges, which was narrowed down to 46 short-listed teams. These teams were then invited to compete in a live cook-off during January and February, where it was narrowed down to six champions from each regional competition, in addition to the overall best runner-up, who then competed for the champion title.

Commenting on the victory, Rowan said: "We’re ecstatic that we have won the competition – we worked really hard as a team to create the menu and deliver top-quality cooking in both the regional heats and the live final. We learnt so much just taking part and now we cannot wait to start our professional work placement with [chef consultant] Christopher Basten."

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