A catering student cooked up a storm after winning Best in Show at the UK’s largest chef competition.

Highbury College student Ayesha Khan wearing her chef's whites with her Best in Show winner's plate, gold medal and her award certificate

Ayesha Khan outshone nine other finalists to take home the winner’s plate at this year’s Major Series Final, part of the International Salon Culinaire held at Hotelympia on Tuesday 3rd March.

The Highbury College trained chef was also the only contestant to achieve gold medal standard.

Ayesha said: "I am so excited and pleased to have won. I’m so grateful for Matt and Highbury’s efforts and support in my work towards the competition. I hope that this win creates more opportunities for my career. Thanks also to my husband and my three lovely children."

Her winning dishes included a cauliflower velouté soup and a crispy chicken wing with cannelloni, squash tortellini, pea & mint and roast chicken jus, all of which she had to cook in just 60 minutes.

Along with the gold medal and Best in Show winner’s plate, Ayesha was also awarded £500 and a VIP invitation to the awards ceremony in September.

Ayesha recently launched her own business, Star Quality Catering, which includes a fusion of mainstream dishes, as well as Halal and Bengali cuisine. Based within the Portsmouth area, her food service also caters to vegetarians and vegans.

She added she now hopes the win will help project her new business to the next level.

Ayesha qualified for the final after winning a chicken challenge regional heat held at Bournemouth College in January last year.

Catering Tutor Matt Sussex said: "This is truly an incredible achievement, saying I’m proud of Ayesha doesn’t come close to describing how I feel right now. The competitions held at Hotelympia are the most prestigious culinary competitions in the whole of the UK, so this really is an amazing accomplishment. I want to thank Chef Andrew Mackenzie, of Lainston House Hotel, for all his invaluable help as Ayesha prepared for the competition. It’s been a long journey with Ayesha and this is quite the fitting ending."

The Major Series competitions provide aspiring chefs the chance to develop their skills and build their confidence in a professional setting.

Interim Principal for Highbury College Penny Wycherley said: "A massive congratulations to Ayesha for this wonderful result. Competitions are a fantastic way for students to showcase their amazing talents and prepare them for their future careers. Well done Ayesha, I wish you every success with your new business."

To find out more about Ayesha’s catering business, email starqualitycateringportsmouth@hotmail.com

For more information on Highbury College’s catering courses, click here.

Article Details

  • Date 09/03/2020