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News: Aspiring chef reaches final stage of national competition

Please note: This news story may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
Emma Pykett
Emma Pykett

A trainee chef from Nottingham College has made it through to the heats of a national catering competition.

The Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or competition aims to inspire and challenge catering students up and down the country, providing them with real life experiences and exposure to key industry experts. 

Emma Pykett, 18, is studying the Level 3 Advanced Professional Chefs Diploma at the College, having previously completed Levels 1 and 2

She is one of hundreds of trainees from across the country to have made it through to the regional heats, after successfully making it through the selection process and qualification phase, based on the theme sustainability. 

As part of the first selection stages, she was tasked with preparing chicken ballotine, which was marked by her Lecturer, based on ten key criteria: butchery, knife skills, hygiene, stock, culinary skills, creativity, taste, texture, portion size and presentation. 

Emma will compete against 15 other students in the heats today (28th March) at the Nestlé Professional Gatwick HQ, home to one of the UK’s leading food manufacturers. After this phase, three back-of-house competitors will go forward to take part in the Grand Finals at the end of April. 

It’s been a great experience and I’ve learnt loads of new skills already. Competing at Nestle Professionals Head Quarters is nerve-wracking, but it’ll be an adventure. I’m hoping to get through to the next stage, but if I don’t, I’m still really proud to have made it this far. 

 — Emma

Ben Payne, Nottingham College Chef Lecturer/​Tutor, said: Emma has shown exceptional dedication and consistent pursuit for excellence in her progression through Nottingham College, her current success with Toque d’Or is a great triumph, as well being an inspiration for other students to aspire to in the coming years.” 

The winners will receive the trip of a lifetime, with the exciting opportunity to learn new skills and build on their food knowledge and insight, by attending the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, as well as a weekend in Dubai. 

If you’re interested in hospitality and catering and would like to find out more about our courses, take a look!

Published on:
  • 28th March 2022 (10:53 AM)
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