Building a sustainable future for the hospitality industry



Premium Supplier 23rd January 2018

Building a sustainable future for the hospitality industry

2018 is a very special year for the Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or Competition as it celebrates its 30th anniversary. With this in mind, CHEF consultant Andrej Prokes, former Executive Sous Chef at The Ritz London and Sous Chef at The Fat Duck in Bray, gives an overview of the evolution of the competition and why it’s so important to the future of our industry.

“With an estimated skills shortage of 1.3 million hospitality workers by 2024*, one of the biggest challenges for the hospitality industry is to inspire the younger generation. We need to showcase that a career in this field is exciting, rewarding and so much more than a “stop gap” job.

“Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or does just that. It’s so much more than just a competition. It motivates apprentices and students by celebrating their skills and potential. It champions and challenges in the most exciting ways, helping them to gain confidence in their culinary skills whilst enhancing personal development. By linking education with industry, the Toque d’Or student competition also bridges the gap between the classroom and the exhilarating reality of industry.

“This month marks the launch of Toque d’Or 2018, making it one of the longest standing competitions in the sector. Our partners this year are Billingsgate Market, Casual Dining Group, Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Le Cordon Bleu and Searcys at the Gherkin.

“This month, the competition will see a total of 24 student teams and 46 apprentices, selected for the highly anticipated National Heats. They will attend a masterclass from both front and back of house industry experts and will be shown a three-course meal, wine and service. The challenge will be to replicate this, with each team producing ten covers as part of a lunch service to guests of Nestlé Professional. Judged against a national standard, the 6 highest scoring student teams and 6 apprentices will go on to compete in the Grand Finals.

“Being part of this competition can change someone’s career, with the industry recognising that Toque d’Or competitors have demonstrated true passion and commitment.

“As part of Nestlé Professional, CHEF is involved with the Toque d’Or competition and passionate about supporting apprentices and students to progress up the ladder. By developing, nurturing and up-skilling talented people, providing them with the right tools to succeed, Toque d’Or is working towards building a sustainable future for the industry.

“Stay tuned as the rest of the competition unfolds. I wish every team the very best of luck for the National Heats and Grand Finals.”

If you’re interested in entering next year’s competition, please visit for more information on the entry process and the Toque d’Or journey.

* People 1st, Migrant Workers in the Hospitality and Tourism Sector and the Potential Impact of Labour Restrictions, April 2017.

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