Tomorrow's top chefs await their fate

Related tags Chef Nestlé toque d'or

Young culinary stars from the UK's catering college are awaiting the results of the Nestlé Toque d'Or 2005 competition. The Toque d'Or gives...

Young culinary stars from the UK's catering college are awaiting the results of the Nestlé Toque d'Or 2005 competition.​ The Toque d'Or gives catering students the chance to bring their dream restaurants to life, testing their creativity, teamwork and commercial acumen.

The contest is seen as a springboard to success in the industry, with previous contestants including Anton Mosimann and Jamie Oliver.

This year's saw teams from Carlisle College, Sheffield College, Thomas Danby College in Leeds and Westminster Kingsway College in London serve their chosen menus to 100 members of the paying public.

The Carlisle team includes Amy Cuthbertson and Josie Baines, both of whom are already working as pub chefs while they complete their course.

In preparation for the finals each team received expert guidance from Nestlé Toque d'Or mentors - including Aramark, Compass Group UK & Ireland, De Vere Hotels and Quadrant Catering.

Within their menus teams had to include culinary aids from Nestlé's Maggi, Chef and Nescafé ranges. Dishes served at the finals included chicken with noodles in a spiced coconut soup; roast loin of wild venison, seared yellow-fin tuna and marbled rhubarb panna cotta!

Andy Stacey, lecturer with last year's winning team Carlisle College, says: "Nestlé's Toque d'Or is totally different to any other catering competition - because there are so many different facets to it, it tests the students on a whole range of skills, not just their cooking. It really does give them a fantastic insight into starting a business."

The judging panel, which included celebrity chef Brian Turner CBE (pictured)​ and Paul Gayler, head chef at London's exclusive Lanesborough Hotel, has the tough job of selecting the winning team:

"The Toque d'Or competition is the toughest of its kind and the quality of entrants this year has been outstanding. If these students are any indication of the future of the catering industry, then we can look forward to a very prosperous future," says Paul Gayler.

The teams will learn their fate at an awards ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel on 22 July 2005.

Each finalist will receive a prize consisting of catering equipment courtesy of Electrolux Foodservice Equipment - £2000 worth for each runner up and £4000 worth for the winning team.

The overall winners will also gain a place on the Nestlé Toque d'Or study trip, an opportunity to travel to a far-flung destination to learn from a host of leading chefs. The study trip location is currently being kept a secret until the award ceremony.

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