14 February 2018

A selection of Catering and Hospitality students from Brooksby Melton College recently travelled to the North Warwickshire and Hinckley College National ‘Salon Culinaire’ to compete in a variety of competitions.

Twelve BMC students competed in the 2018 ‘Salon Culinaire’, coming away with three gold medals and ‘Best in Class’ awards, six silver medals, eight bronze medals, six certificate of merit awards and two ‘Best Visiting Student’ awards, won by Courtney Clowes and Andrew Smith.

Colleen O’Keefe, who studies Level 3 Hospitality Supervision and Leadership at BMC, said ‘I started my Level 1 qualification at the College in 2014, and this year has been the first year that I have had the confidence to enter any competitions, so I am incredibly pleased with the prizes that I won at the ‘Salon Culinaire’. Studying at BMC made preparing for the competition a lot easier, as we get to build up lots of front of house experience by serving customers in the Rural Catering Centre. I was really pleased to have won a certificate of merit for my Victoria sponge, as my course focuses on front of house operations and I have not had much practise when it comes to baking!

I decided that I wanted to pursue Hospitality because I completed a summer programme at The Olive Grove Cookery School, which I really enjoyed. I then came to a Taster Day at BMC and was really impressed by the brand new Rural Catering Centre facilities. Coming to BMC to study Catering and Hospitality was the perfect option for me because I had very little confidence when I started at the College. If I had gone straight into work within the industry I would have struggled due to my lack of confidence, so being able to learn all of the necessary skills within a supportive college environment has been really helpful.

I feel that I am now ready to go into employment within the hospitality industry when I complete my Level 3 qualification this year. I would like to work my way up and eventually gain a supervisory role within the hospitality sector.’

Colleen won a silver medal for napkin folding, a bronze medal for table setting and a certificate of merit for her Victoria sponge.

Students who competed for prizes in the front of house categories were Colleen O’Keefe, Courtney Clowes, Jukub Lidwin, Josh Coutes and Jenna Middleton, whilst Amanda Underwood, Andrew Smith, Liam Cummings, Jemma Clapham, Mollie Kenning, Rikki Paynter and Cerys Chaplar competed in the professional cookery competitions on the day.

Attending competitions like the NWHC ‘Salon Culinaire’ gives BMC Catering and Hospitality students the chance to hone their front of house skills and show off their culinary flare. The NWHC event also gives students a unique opportunity to network with local employers and internationally renowned judges.

BMC’s Catering and Hospitality students benefit from learning in the state-of-the-art Rural Catering Centre at the College’s Melton Campus, where they are able to serve real customers in a real restaurant environment. This helps students to develop a vast array of skills within the disciplines of Hospitality and Professional Cookery and enables them to leave college employment-ready.

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