Professional Cookery students reach national cooking competition finals

Professional Cookery students reach national cooking competition finals

For the fourth year running, Professional Cookery students from Ayrshire College reached the national finals of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge, after being announced as one of ten finalists, have brought home a bronze award.

The live Grand Final took place at the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Show at ExCeL London on 4 March 2020.

The long-running Country Range Student Chef Challenge provides hospitality students with the perfect platform to improve cooking skills, knowledge and technique, while developing real life experience under intense pressure and competition situations.

Level 6 Professional Cookery students from the Kilmarnock Campus, Rebecca Crossan, Ewan Baird and Ryan Rafferty, prepared and produced a three-course menu in 90 minutes, testing their knowledge where this year’s theme focused on how students can use classic techniques to maximise the use of ingredients, while reducing food waste.

Rebecca said “this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was a great feeling, standing up there with all those other teams and competing to a very high standard. It has definitely boosted my confidence and my work process.”

The Ayrshire College menu featured:

Starter – Butter steamed fillet of plaice with pea gnocchi, mushrooms, pickled clams, tomato hollandaise & seaweed cracker.

Main – Asian spiced pork loin with peanut noodles, braised lotus fruit, anise carrots, brioche dumplings and quince sauce

Dessert – Lemon and honey cream, white chocolate sorbet, hazelnut and basil streusel, citrus and elderflower curd.

The standard of cooking by all the college teams was outstanding with some fabulous skills, techniques, tastes and flavours on show.

Chris Basten, the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Chairman of Judges, said “The competing students certainly didn’t disappoint with the execution of their dishes and the flavours they provided.

“A huge well done to the Ayrshire College team. The quality of dishes presented by the students was sensational, showing real technique, creativity and attention to detail with every ingredient.”

Annmarie Farr, Hospitality Lecturer, said “the students have worked exceptionally hard to reach the finals and have committed many hours of extra practice over and above their normal studies. The dedication shown has been outstanding and I am extremely proud of their achievements.”

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