It has been a busy few weeks for the trainee chefs of The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College.
On April 8, for the third year running ahead of the annual MK Food and Leisure Awards, the College’s professional kitchen and restaurant played host to the Chef Of The Year category for the annual Milton Keynes Food Awards Cook-Off.
With eleven professional chefs fiercely competing for the coveted title, things were soon hotting up in the kitchen, as they worked tirelessly to produce innovative and delicious dishes that they hoped would impress the assembled judging panel.
As well as the professional chefs vying for an award, there was also a competition for the MK College catering students.
Fatima De Ocera, Joseph McRoberts Ellen Heavey and Patience Karinge were tasked with designing the canapés and dessert for the upcoming awards ceremony.
Fatima won the canapés competition and Ellen produced the winning dessert. Their reward for their hard work will be a trip sponsored by gourmet pastry manufacturer Pidy, to France and Belgium.
Paul Eason, Chef and Business Development Manager at Pidy said, “The quality of what these young women produced was exceptionally high. Fatima’s canapés were innovative and on trend and Ellen’s dessert, which utilised a Pidy sweet cone was a real hit with the guests.”
The awards ceremony itself, which took place on Sunday at Jury’s Inn Hotel, saw fellow students Patience Karinge and Chantelle Holt assisted Fatima and Ellen in the food preparation.
They were invited on stage to receive a rapturous applause from the gratefully sated crowd.
Paul said, “The MK Food and Leisure Awards is such a special event, as it recognises and supports the local, established talent within Milton Keynes and also champions those that are new to the industry, that show immense skill and promise.”
Of the student’s success, Tony Oxley, programme manager of Hospitality and Catering at Milton Keynes College said: “I am very proud that Milton Keynes College learners played such an integral part in the awards ceremony.
“It has really put our trainee chefs and the College on the map with so many more local businesses and dignitaries.
“It has been a fantastic learning experience for them, right from the initial conception of their dishes, right through to working in a busy commercial kitchen, where they produced exceptional food for 180 people.”
The MK Food and Leisure Awards not only looks to celebrate MK’s best chefs, but also has categories to decide the best small and large hotels, best waiting staff, best restaurant and best attraction in Milton Keynes, to name but a few.