Bradford College students enjoy the taste of competition

The Bradford College catering team at the HEAT competition in Jersey

A team of catering and hospitality students from Bradford College finished runners-up in a prestigious restaurant-running contest.

The students achieved the impressive result in the inaugural Heat 2017 contest that was held in Jersey, organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Over two days, each participating college team had to cook and serve a three-course lunch of dinner and be judged by four renowned chefs on the quality of their food and front of house service.

The Bradford team narrowly missed out on top spot, which was taken by Highlands College Jersey, but received high praise from the judges and organisers.

Bradford College’s Richard Barker said: “All our students excelled under rigorous conditions as the bar was set very high.

"It was an invaluable and exceptional experience for all involved, a new fresh competition format that encompassed both social and employability skills that could only have been realised in a hosting environment.

“The four judges - Paul Gayler MBE, Andrew Bennett MBE, Stephen Scuffell, executive chef of London Hotels and Henry Brosi, executive chef at The Dorchester - were all very supportive and gave very positive feedback and constructive criticism. We learned a lot.

“The trip was crammed full of wonderful and inspirational experiences for the students who are only now being able to process its full impact.”

Bradford College’s students enthused about the trip, insisting that whilst they didn’t bring home the trophy they were winners in terms of gaining experience and knowledge.

Student Elvis Stradz said: “It was amazing, a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something brilliant.

“I am coming out of it with work experience opportunities, which will expand my skillset and develop my career.

“It was really fun to do what I love and to work with the team. I enjoyed meeting new people from the industry who have inspired me.

“I was a fun and valuable experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Student Dylan Thomas said: “I learned that the kitchen and front of house staff must work as a machine to deliver the perfect experience for the diners.”

Student Robyn Stillings said: “Jersey was a fantastic experience. I adored the fact that the competition was a residential trip as this helped me connect with my team and it gave me plenty of opportunities for learning.”

Nikita Rudding said: “The trip has opened up a lot of doors for me and has helped shape my future in the industry.”

Dominic Farrell, chef lecturer at Highlands College in Jersey, was so impressed by the Bradford College team that he hopes the two institutions can work together again.

“Our students were blown away with the Bradford team, how friendly and open they all were,” he said.

“It would be a shame if the link between the two colleges was lost as I think there is great potential for a collaborative partnership.”

His colleague Eileen Buicke-Kelly, Director of Culinary Arts, Hospitality Studies and Catering Operations at Highlands College, said: “My lasting impression of the first Heat competition is team Bradford and how they made me smile. Not only are these kids talented but their personality, motivation and sheer determination was second to none. It was an honour to have them here in Jersey.”

Dave Chalk, Chair of Jersey Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “Congratulations to all the teams who took part in the very first Heat. The standard of the inter-college culinary competition was exceptionally high and the Jersey team were up against two of the UK’s top culinary colleges.”

Bradford College offers a wide range of catering and hospitality courses at various levels, from cake decoration to professional cookery. 

The college's catering students run their own restaurant, The Grove, which is open to the public every weekday lunchtime during term time between 12pm and 2.30pm and on Thursday evenings from 6pm. 

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