S81 students gather for a photo.

The heat was on at S81

21 March 2016

Catering and Hospitality apprentices at North Notts College went head-to-head in a Ready, Steady, Cook-style competition for National Apprenticeship Week 2016.

Putting their culinary skills to the test in the College’s S81 restaurant, the ten level 2 apprentices were given a bag of mystery ingredients and had just two hours to prepare, cook and serve their dishes to a panel of eagle-eyed judges, many of whom were local restaurant proprietors or head chefs, along with a former catering apprentice.

Unlike the popular TV show, the winner wasn’t decided by a vote of red tomatoes or green peppers – the judges scored the apprentices on originality of dish, use of ingredients, demonstration of skills, presentation and, of course, flavour.

After observing the apprentices in the kitchens and tasting their final dishes, Nicholas Qumbro was crowned the judges winner; his delectable delights consisted of sticky, finger-licking ribs with a side of egg fried rice, along with a delicately fragrant poached pear dessert. Out of the ten challengers, Nicholas was the only one to come up with a dessert in the allotted time.

Nicholas’ reward for winning the competition was a boning knife, provided by Rotherham-based suppliers Russums, which was presented by Apprenticeship Advisor David Durgan.

David said: “It was a great experience for the apprentices to work under pressure, something they will have to cope with in their future careers in the catering industry.

“The competition was a perfect platform for the apprentices to showcase their skills and demonstrate what apprenticeships are all about.

“We provide every single one of our apprentices with a qualification, industry knowledge and valuable work experience – which we couldn’t do without the support of the local employers who have kindly judged the competition.

Nicholas was delighted to be taking home the accolade of Ready, Steady, Cook champion.

He said: “It was a nerve racking experience cooking against the clock and having people assessing you. But I’m happy with the result and it was great to cook under pressure for industry experts.”

The judges each received a basket of fruit, kindly donated by G.W Price Fruit and Veg, as a thank you for supporting the competition.

If you’re interested in a catering apprenticeship at North Notts College, contact 01909 504777 or visit www.rnntraining.co.uk/

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