23 September 2016

A Mansfield chef and ex-West Nottinghamshire College student is delighted at being selected to cook at a prestigious catering presentation in London.

Lewis Kuciers, 20, from Fiskerton, near Southwell, was one of twelve finalists in the Craft Guild of Chef Graduate Awards in the kitchen award category scoring 75% with his preparation of lobster from raw, pork belly and roll half with stuffing and a mystery basket of ingredients to add to the pork.

Having already succeeded at the semi-finals at The University of Birmingham and The Westminster Kingsway College, London, Lewis was then invited to an awards presentation at the Park Lane Hotel on Tuesday 6 September.

Lewis, who now works as a chef at The Black Bull pub in Blidworth, joined chefs from establishments such as The Ledbury, The Ritz and The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, in front of top chefs Russell Bateman and Adam Bennett, who were judges at the main competitions.

Lewis said:

“It’s been a great experience. It was rather stressful working with a lobster dish as I’ve not had much practice – or requests for lobster at the pub!

“I’ve been lucky to have Mark’s support in the lead up to the competitions and I’ve been very busy both cooking at the pub and practicing some of my dishes. Mark was a great tutor and he’s an equally great mentor to me now.”

Having graduated from the college in 2015, Lewis still has great links with his tutor and now mentor Mark Jones. Mark is often seen working as guest chef at The Black Bull, assisting Lewis and other ex-catering students Rees Whelpton and Craig Hadden who also work in the kitchens at the Blidworth-based pub.

Tutor Mark said:

“Lewis has great ambition to develop his skills and has lots of potential. He’s had the guts and belief to enter into a prestigious competition such as this, competing against over 400 chefs from world-renowned establishments such as The Ritz and The Ledbury.

“This goes to show the standard of the competitions he’s capable of succeeding in having only left college last year. We’re all very proud of him and he will reap the rewards with the doors of opportunity which will open due to his passion, commitment and dedication.”

West Nottinghamshire College provides education and training to some 30,000 full- and part-time students across all major industry sectors and at pre-GCSE to university level.

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