The 2015 Toque d'Or winner who now works for Sat Bains

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th June 2015
The Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or competition is one of the most celebrated contests in the country. This year, Westminster Kingsway College took first prize for the third time after competing against five other teams in the final. The Staff Canteen spoke to one of the members of the winning team to find out how the competition has helped her career.  Rebecca (WKC) takes note low resThe Toque d'Or competition attempts to create tasks that reflect real life challenges of the catering industry. From serving a gala dinner for 50 people to managing street food stalls at the X Factor Live, the students’ skills were truly put to the test. Westminster Kingsway College’s team of students Chris Davis, Josie Thompson and Rebecca Heath managed to win the competition. Rebecca, the team’s front of house student, said: “It’s an amazing opportunity that helps you to develop your skills and realise what kind of person you are.” Rebecca is already on the road to success as she now works at Restaurant Sat Baines in Nottingham. She said: “Working at the restaurant is really opening my eyes to what the industry is actually and how much hard work it is. I feel really lucky that I’m able to do it at a restaurant of such amazing calibre.” The contest is a great opportunity to meet influential people in the business. Amongst the judges was celebrity chef, James Tanner. Rebecca said: “The people you get to meet and the connections you make are amazing.” She added: “I wish I could do it again and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is a good team player.”TDWinners2015_MG_2844Henr (small) Entries were received from more than 120 colleges around the UK and then, after six regional rounds the six finalist teams were selected. The teams were assessed on their practical and theoretical skills and knowledge along with their ability to improvise and work in a team. Rebecca said: “We learned how to work as a team with people you don’t know. We had to work out how we could be most efficient.” Westminster Kingsway College received their prize at an awards dinner at London’s celebrated Dorchester Hotel in front of over 300 industry guests. The team received a variety of awards including working under Henri Brosi at the Dorchester, delivering a three-course lunch for 1,000 guests at the Sovereigns Parade in Sandhurst and attending a master-class at Billingsgate. toque day 3The winners also visited the O2 with seats in the VIP box as guests of Nestlé Professional. Rebecca said: “Everyone is really grateful for all of the extras we received. The extras that Nestlé provide helped to keep group’s spirit level up because it gets stressful and competitive at times.” But it’s not just the winners that received prizes. Nestlé Toque d’Or gives prizes to contestants throughout the competition from a fund of more than £25,000 each year, which is supported by The Savoy Educational Trust. The fund is used to purchase awards, which are given to the teams at the regional stages and the final. The Nestlé Toque d’Or competition was started more than 25 years ago and has prompted the careers of many chefs including James Martin and Jamie Oliver. Rebecca said: “If you want to do well in the industry competitions like this are the way to do it.” By Abbie Cattano  

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th June 2015

The 2015 Toque d'Or winner who now works for Sat Bains