One student even took home Best in Show in this year’s Wessex Salon Culinaire, which was held at Brockenhurst College on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st May.
Level 3 culinary arts student Kevin Fell, who won the accolade for his lamb main course, said: “I was extremely surprised to be honest with you. It looked like there were some good dishes there but that was the best I’ve ever cooked that dish. Even one of the judges said to me, without blowing my own trumpet, ‘that lamb was perfect’ so I thought 'I’ve got a little bit of a chance.’ It was a good competition because of the sense of camaraderie and seeing students from all levels working together and encouraging each other was great. It just gives you a semblance of the responsibility and pressure of a professional kitchen. It was a very good experience and I’ve got to thank chef Matt Sussex for his patience and for all the hours he put in to help us prepare. I was glad to represent the College and I’m proud the College did so well.”
In association with The Craft of Guild of Chefs, the annual event allows student chefs to get a first taste of competition experience.
The Highbury students took on three of the competitions categories: live cold preparation, live hot preparation and the Wessex Bake Off.
For competitors who reached certain standards, awards were given out including a Certificate of Merit, Bronze Award, Silver Award or a Gold Award.
Catering Lecturer Matt Sussex said: “I’m very proud of how well our students did on the day. This is one of the biggest regional culinary events of the year and our students had to go up against a lot of other skilled students from the area, but they did their best and performed well. They’ve been working really hard and competitions like this are a fantastic way for them to prove themselves and be recognised for how truly talented they are. Well done everybody!”