Year one Students competing for regionals
Today I was asked to be the Judge for the Rotary Young Chef of the Year Competition, this was held at Shrewsbury College. This competition is set up by the national and local Rotary club. Taking part were 9 first years students (only 3 month in their course) who designed their own 3 course menu for 2 with a budget of £15, using fresh seasonal produce creating a balanced healthy meal.
To judge their skills, passion and pride at this early stage in their career, is not easy as this could make or brake their appetite to become a great Chef one day. I got introduced to the competitors and the 2 hour time slot started to tick for all, including mine. To see these students using knives, shaking of nerves, I was getting worried the first aid kit had to be handy sooner rather then later.... I had work to do, first of see every competitor individually, ask them what menu they were about create, looking for clear answers and motivate them about timing, what to look out for, calm them about my presence, and not to get ahead of themselves. Writing down their menu's pre-empting the difficult stages in their preparations, I knew the level was aimed very high by all. Surprisingly after 1 hour, walking up and down between the individual kitchens for each competitor I was amazed of the high level of techniques been applied to their creation, some had sheets of paper to remind them timings and what to do next, some did not have any paper in front of them as they probably had rehearsed it a few times B4, and for one or two it was simply to much being their first competition. I am glad to be part of this event to be able to help these young protégées and to send them on the right path which might lead to their future successful career in Catering
But overall the end results were amazing, textures and flavours and seasoning were well thought of, always room for improvement but I was overall truly impressed with their end result’s so early in their quest, they were all winners in the end.....good luck to them all and hope to see them again in future stages of their education