Toque d’Or, the prestigious competition by Nestlé Professional, offers commis chef apprentices and students at catering colleges unique and exciting ‘real world’ experiences of what the hospitality industry has to offer in a career. In collaboration with businesses from all streams of industry, the competition showcases the vast opportunities on offer to those considering a career in this vibrant industry.
This year over 80 college teams and 170 apprentices from across the UK and Ireland registered to take part. In two tough stages of competition – Digital Entry and National Heats – the 6 top performers in each category were selected to take part at the Grand Finals in London. During a week of high pressured challenges, the finalists were put through their paces in a series of challenges at Billingsgate Fish Market, Smithfield Meat Market, the Latin American restaurant Las Iguanas, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and the London branch of the legendary catering school Le Cordon Bleu. To round off the week, the finalists were challenged to deliver a three-course fine dining lunch for 120 guests in Searcys at the famous London landmark, The Gherkin skyscraper – the week quite literally finished on a high!
On 8th June, 300 invited industry guests, including our Grand Finalists, gathered at The Dorchester hotel in London for the 30th Toque d’Or 2018 awards lunch. The event this year was hosted by Mark Durden-Smith and Angellica Bell and showcased the journey competitors had been through to get to the finals.
The event reached its crescendo with the all-important announcement of the Toque d’Or 2018 winners. City of Glasgow College pipped it to the post taking home the trophy for the College Competition and Mateusz Hnatowski of Restaurant Associates took the top spot in the Apprentice Competition.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Toque D’Or, this year’s winners are getting their hands on a number of incredible prizes including cooking with Chef James Tanner in his restaurant at Royal Ascot, working with Chef Adam Bateman to deliver a fine dining dinner for the most important UK company directors in hospitality, attending a Canapé & Wine pairing course at Le Cordon Bleu London, and many more!
James Tanner, College Competition Head of Judges:
“The Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or competition is of massive importance to our industry. Embracing young talent by giving them the opportunity to learn and compete to such a high standard of competition where they gain an insight into all aspects of industry. The experience is one they will always remember and because of the competition we have more keen and professional future stars promoting and joining our industry year on year, well done and thank you Nestlé Professional for creating something truly unique and special.”
To find out more about Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or visit: www.nestleprofessional.co.uk/toquedor