Bradford College student, Chris Godding has become an award winning chef, scooping a silver medal, trophy and cheque at the Salon Culinaire 2011 held in Birmingham, which is considered to be the catering equivalent of the Olympics.
The competition is one of the world’s leading hospitality shows and competitions are a major feature, attracting competitors from around the world.
Chris, now in his 3rd year at Bradford College, enrolled on a NVQ Professional Cookery Course and has never looked back. He is the latest star to emerge from the Hospitality and Catering School, following in the footsteps of a string of students who have gone on to achieve critical acclaim.
When asked how it felt to have scooped an award in the competition, Chris replied: “I’m over the moon… I didn’t expect to get a silver medal.”
Chris was inspired to pursue a career in catering following a stint working in a kitchen over the summer after he left school. Chris explained: “I just love it – it keeps me busy and it’s something I’ve always been interested in.”
Chris Godding scooped a silver medal for his striking decorative work of a hand carved life sized model of a swan made of fat. No external supports were allowed in the construction of the swan, although the use of colouring was permitted for the competition entry.
Tutor Colin Burt explained: “Traditionally fat carvings used to be a centre piece in a buffet… it’s an art form as it’s quite a difficult medium to work with because as it gets warm, bits start to fall off it, and if it gets too cold, it gets brittle and starts cracking.”
Tutor Colin continued: “Chris’ carving did so well because he was daring enough to create a life sized swan and the neck defied gravity. He’d balanced it intricately so it managed to stay up.”
Paying tribute to Tutor Colin Burt, Chris said: “Colin taught me this art form, without his knowledge and expertise I wouldn’t have created the sculpture and won the award. Chris added: “The tutors are brilliant… really friendly and supportive.”
When asked who his Inspirational role models were, Chris replied: “Gordon Ramsey and Marco Pierre White. There’s also Jason Atherton, he was the Head Chef at Maze, which is one of Gordon Ramsey’s Restaurants.” Elaborating further on what he liked about Atherton’s culinary skills, Chris said: “For example, he took a normal BLT sandwich and put it in a cocktail glass. I just found that inspiring because it’s different. A nice twist on a modern classic - that’s what I want to do.”
Following the success of winning the competition, Chris revealed his plans for the future, “I’d like to work in industry, learn as much as I can out there and then eventually have my own place somewhere.”
Chris added: “You’ve got to be passionate to survive in this industry. If you can’t handle it in college, then you’re not going to make it out there.”
This is not the first time Bradford College students have taken part in the prestigious competition and scooped awards. Previous winners include Luke Birchall and Alister Wiggan who swapped the unemployment line for a place on a Professional Cookery course at Bradford College - and have gone on to become award winning chefs at Salon Culinaire 2010. Student Jade Flude, under the watchful eye of dedicated tutor Janice Atack, also scooped a silver medals and certificate of merit at the Wessex Salon Culinaire in 2010 for her marzipan modelling of a bunny rabbit holding a carrot. Fellow students Mandy Kershaw and Elizabeth Fragakis impressed judges with their support of Jade during the competition.
TV personality and Prashad co –owner Minal Patel, is a former Bradford College student who has also enjoyed success as an accomplished award winning chef with her husband Bobby Patel. Their restaurant ‘Prashad’ was recently featured on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s Channel 4 hit TV series ‘Ramsay’s Best Restaurants’. Gordon travelled the country searching for exceptional restaurants and described the food at Prashad as ‘Extraordinary’ and ‘The best vegetarian cuisine he had ever had’.
Tutor Colin Burt reflected on Chris Godding future career prospects: “This silver medal will do wonders for Chris’ CV and will really help him in the trade as employers are going to see that he is highly motivated and creative - and that’s the sort of person they’ll want to take on. I’m very pleased to have been able to help Chris to succeed. I’m confident Chris will further himself in his career and go on to great things!” Colin smiled and added: “Watch this space…”