‘THE HEAT is on’ as industry experts gathered to judge the first round of the Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or 2015. The paper entry focused on questions drawn from the college syllabus and the increasingly important subject of sustainability. Adding their expertise to the judging were Nick Fenwicke-Clennell and Charles Miers of Footprint Media Group.
The result - a record breaking 36 college teams are now through to the Regional Heats, which take place in February.
Attracted by the life changing experience that Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or offers, student teams will now be fiercely competing for a place in the Grand Finals that is a beacon for top talent and youth skills in catering.
According to Managing Director of Nestlé Professional UK & Eire, Neil Stephens, 2015 has seen an unprecedented number of colleges wanting to engage with Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or, with a staggering 140 teams from 75 colleges registered to enter the highly aspirational competition.
Praising the quality and creativity of entries Stephens says: “Our partnership with PACE is a winning formula, the incredible number of entries seen this year pays testament to the value that colleges now place on competing within Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or.
“We’re seeing a growing movement by employers in their awareness of the advantages of recruiting a ‘Toque’ candidate and many of our past students have gone on to work with the finest establishments in the UK, whether as a chef, or in a front of house role. Teamwork is key - hence we place so much emphasis on combining front and back of house skill sets.
“Indeed, Nestle Professional Toque D’Or enjoys a reputation for dramatically accelerating students’ career paths for those who participate, with past contestants working with the Fat Duck, Whatley Manor, Mosimanns, The Lanesborough and L’Ortolan, to name but a few.
Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or is part of Nestlé’s broader worldwide commitment to supporting youth skills, training and development.
“This year sees fresh twists and challenges that will surprise and excite competing teams. For example, we have made ‘Sustainability’ our focus for the first round of the competition, a key pillar which is increasingly embedded within catering operations, and epitomises the future of the industry.”
As you would expect from Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or, the surprises continue throughout the contest. The student teams will now move onto the first practical round of the competition, where they’ll be supported by the likes of Craft Guild of Chefs, Loch Fyne, CH&Co all sharing their industry knowledge with the students and testing them on what they have learned. Each team will be competing for one of the six places at the Grand Finals in March.
The full list of Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or Heats teams is as follows:
Belfast Metropolitan College
Blackpool and The Fylde College
Buxton and Leek College
City of Bristol College
City College Norwich
City of Glasgow College
Coleg Llandrillo (3 teams)
Forth Valley College
Henley College Coventry (2 teams)
New College Nottingham (4 teams)
North West Regional College
Salford City College
Sheffield City College (2 teams)
Southern Regional College
Southern Regional College, Newry
South Thames College (2 teams)
University College Birmingham
University of Derby, Buxton
Westminster Kingsway College