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Nestlé Professional crowns 2024 Toque d'Or champions

Nestlé Professional crowns

A taste of triumph

Nestlé Professional is thrilled to announce the winners of the 36th edition of prestigious hospitality competition, Toque d’Or. The essence of the competition lies in an unwavering commitment to fostering the next generation of hospitality professionals, through close collaboration with the industry – setting a new standard for emerging talent and a benchmark for success.

After an exhilarating grand finals week which saw 12 finalists go head-to-head in a series of intense challenges, two deserving champions have been crowned. They are:

Geraldine Sierra Torres of Westminster Kingsway College 

and

 Jasmine Ferdinando of York College

This year's grand finals comprised a series of action-packed challenges focused on sustainability, covering topics such as food provenance, regenerative agriculture and how hospitality plays an important role in supporting communities.

Each day presented a unique opportunity for the finalists to showcase their skills, creativity and passion, from curating menus using sustainably sourced ingredients to delving into the principles of sustainable farming and production.

Expert guidance

Competitors received expert guidance from a distinguished panel of judges. Two Michelin-star chef Tommy Banks spearheaded the ‘back of house’ judging panel alongside his culinary partner Tom Bell and Nestlé's global executive chef Emmanuel Lorieux. For ‘front of house’ the judging panel was led by winner of the 2023 Gold Service Scholarship and footman at The Royal Household, Jupiter Humphrey-Bishop, along with master barista, Christos Sotiros, Nespresso customer service manager Vincenzo D’Aniello, and cocktail expert Nicolas Medicamento.

Former Toque d’Or competitors, now ambassadors and judges of the competition, including 2023 finalist, Emily Simkins, 2018 winner, Antonia Macfarlane, 2021 winner, Sophie Taylor, and last year's champion, Joshua Kerr, all contributed invaluable expertise. Drawing from their own experiences as past winners and finalists, the rising industry stars were able to inspire and guide this year’s finalists through the different challenges.

It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with the finalists throughout what was a transformative, week-long learning experience. Witnessing their dedication and creativity during the ‘fine dining challenge’ was truly inspiring. As they move forward beyond the competition, I have every confidence that they will continue to flourish and make significant contributions to the hospitality industry.

I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the participants. Your dedication, talent, and passion have shone throughout this journey. As you move forward in your careers, remember to stay true to your passion and to never stop pushing the boundaries. I wish each and every one of you the very best in your future endeavours. May your journey in hospitality continue to be filled with joy, growth, and endless opportunities to make a positive impact.

Yet again, this year's Toque d’Or competition has demonstrated just how much young talent there is in hospitality. We enjoyed watching all the participants as they progressed through key stages of the competition and extend our warmest congratulations to those who advanced and competed in Grand Finals Week. It’s no mean feat and they should all be proud to have made it this far, in what is an incredible achievement.


2024 champions

Geraldine Sierra Torres

Geraldine Sierra Torres, Back of house Winner said: “This is such a surreal moment for me. Ever since I was a child, I remember cooking with my grandmother in the kitchen at home. She inspired me to pursue my passion for cooking, which has ultimately led me to where I am today. While I’m incredibly proud of my achievement, I think all of the finalists are deserving champions. As a group, we’ve spent so much time together and created some amazing memories. It’s great to have made so many friends. I want to thank everyone involved in making this competition so special; I’ve been able to grow so much both from a personal and professional perspective. I’m going to enjoy this moment first, and then look forward to the prize trip to Switzerland!”

Jasmine Ferdinando

Jasmine Ferdinando, Front of house winner said: “I know it sounds like a cliche, but when I first entered the competition I never thought I would get this far. I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity, to meet so many amazing people and to develop great friendships along the way. I can’t wait to put the skills and knowledge that I’ve been able to gain over the last few months to the test, as I get ready to start my career. I’d like to thank my college lecturer Suzanne for supporting me and giving me the confidence to really push myself and step out of my comfort zone. Looking ahead, there’s so much to be excited about.”


A Swiss adventure awaits

This year’s winners are now set to embark on an extraordinary journey to Switzerland, immersing themselves in Nestlé's rich heritage and Swiss traditions.

This once-in-a-lifetime trip will include visits to some of the best food and drink destinations Switzerland has to offer, in what is set to be an unforgettable culinary journey.

 

To find out more about this year’s grand final challenges, visit the Nestlé Professional site.