Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or Grand Final: day 3

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st March 2015
The finalists of this year's Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or were back at the O2 Arena this morning to prepare their dishes for the next task. Today they created 30 portions of a dish from a recipe they were given yesterday and they each had a theme.  The dishes had to feed some of the thousands of X Factor Live fans heading to the arena for the show. CAnKZSIWsAAV617The six teams were split into groups yesterday and the themes were seafood, Spanish and Mexican. Their mentors for this task were from Loch Fyne, Chimichanga and La Tasca. The teams were also given a cart to sell their dishes from and they were encouraged to design and decorate them in keeping with their theme and also so they encouraged people to try the dishes. Front of house for UCB was student Megan Lyke. Her team made a fish stew and the 22-year-old said: "It's a really fun task. I didn't expect anything like this and it's something I've never done before. We've all run a restaurant or been in the kitchen but this is really outside the box. "Our main issue is the name of our dish, fish stew sounds sloppy and something for the winter and we needed to get across that actually it's a luxurious product - we've called it the taste of the sea and it's full of fresh prawns, salmon, mussels etc. " She added: "We've had to really push ourselves - we're used to being busy but not dealing with 1000's of people."CAnyIASWUAAOZJ6 The only vegetarian dish on the menu was a paella by the Blackpool and the Fylde team. Working front of house for them was 21-year-old Tom Greenwood. He said: "Our selling point was we had the only vegetarian dish, especially as it's meat free week next week. Round the corner from our stands were the hotdog/burger bars so we offered something different. We tried to be as descriptive as possible with people - I think the interaction is as important as the dish itself." One of this year's judges is Rob Kennedy, executive chef UK Defence, talking about today's task he said: "Street food has got to be quirky but it's got to have awesome, strong flavours packed into that small container too. For me it's all about taste today not presentation. "Toque d'Or have created a MasterChef meets The Apprentice style task and the finalists seem to be really enjoying it. It was calm in the kitchen and it was great to see them all working as a team." He added: "This is my second year judging and it's great to see so much passion." toque day 3Student chef Adele Lassus from Sheffield College served pork cheek and celeriac mash. The 25-year-old enjoyed being out of the kitchen and said: "It was really enjoyable. Street food is not something you get to dabble with everyday and pork cheek is a new ingredient for me. So I've learnt about the meat, portion sizes and presentation - and cooking and serving at the same time has been great. Not something a chef normally gets to do!" Today's street food task was a first for Toque d'Or and it attracted a lot of attention from the public - so a resounding success but a task Nestle are keen to build on for next year. By Samantha Wright The Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or competition is a UK wide search for the best student brigades of both chefs and front-of-house. The winning college will receive £2,500 worth of catering equipment and the students win £430 and a place on the annual Toque d’Or study trip.  
The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st March 2015

Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or Grand Final: day 3