In a spectacle reminiscent of the highly popular TV series, students from the Professional Cookery C&G NVQ Level 2 Diploma course, based at our Greenwich Campus, took part in their very own Bake-off competition this week.
Ten promising pastry chefs and bakers took part in the challenge to create and bake two afternoon tea dishes in just four hours. Expert chef, restaurateur and writer, Peter Gordon and his team came along to our kitchens to judge the contest.
Peter owns and runs The Providores and Tapa Room in London’s Marylebone. Famed for his unique brand of fusion cuisine, Peter came looking for high quality and lots of creative flare from the contenders. Each knew impressing this particular judge would require original thinking, authenticity, precision skills and dexterity.
He was joined by Tarryn Coleman, Head Pastry Chef and Executive Sous at Alison Price & Company and Lisa Stubbs, Assistant Principal for Creative and Cultural Industries at London South East Colleges. They were given the enviable task of tasting and providing a critique of each dish and picking three overall winners.
After a comprehensive two hours of examination, scrutiny and deliberation, the judging panel chose their winners and invited the students to join them for a presentation of prizes and a signed copy, for all students, of Peter’s latest book ‘Savour’.
First, second and third place winners were Aster (for her mocha mousse lemon and poppy seed polenta bar), Cassie (for her passion fruit and chocolate macarons, and cardamom, rose, raspberry and almond tart) and Abideen (for his strawberry and pistachio roulade, and milk chocolate cremeux with caramelised apple).
Peter said: “I am very impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm shown by all students today. The dishes were wonderfully crafted and presented and the tastes were to die for. I really do think we have some real talent here. Well done to everybody taking part.”
Winning chef, Aster said: “I’m pinching myself; I still can’t believe I won and I think I’ll be floating on clouds for the rest of the term because of this. The challenge was very tough; we were all very nervous about it as there’s so much that can go wrong. I’m so pleased that all of us went into the judging room with something wonderful to show the judges. It’s been an incredible lesson in professionalism for the whole group.”
Their tutor, Tania Summer said: “There were ten amazing achievements today; all made in the presence of such big-league and celebrated guests from the very top of the hospitality industry. Needless to say, I’m immensely proud and delighted for each student.
"Thank you to Peter, Tarryn and the team for their time and dedication to our students and their development.”
If you think you have what it takes to become a professional chef or build a successful career in the hospitality and catering industries, we’d like to hear from you. We have a great range of courses to get you started. Come along to one of our open events during June and July.