10 February 2017

After winning a prestigious national competition which led to a medal at the 2016 International Culinary Olympics, Loughborough College has reached the Country Range Student Chef Challenge Grand Final for the second year in a row.

The College took the crown at last year’s London final, earning them a coveted place alongside the Craft Guild of Chefs British team at the Olympics in Germany – and bronze for Hospitality and Catering lead Darren Creed.

Emily Bucknall, who was on last year’s winning team, was back alongside Sian Dixon and Aveir Gordon for the Loughborough  College hosted 2017 semi-final, with the trio working against the clock to cook and deliver their dishes.

The College team’s place at next month’s Grand Final was confirmed with their Healthy Gourmet Fine Dining menu of Pumpkin and freekeh risotto with toasted pumpkin seeds and parsley jus followed by pan-roasted Sea Bass with Jerusalem artichoke puree, flageolet and butter beans, roasted garlic and red wine reduction, with a dessert of Jasmine and orange parfait and mango sorbet.

Darren Creed said:

“It certainly added to the pressure that we had taken the overall title last year and that we were on home soil for the 2017 semi finals – but to make the Grand Final again and achieve that at the College has been fantastic.

“It was amazing to win in 2016 and to compete in the International Culinary Olympics as a result – let alone to bring home a medal. Now we have reached that final stage again with the chance to retain the title and I am incredibly proud of the team for that.

“I would urge any chef lecturer to get involved in this competition. The feedback provided is outstanding. Even if you don’t get through, having that detailed input is so helpful to students’ progress.”

Craft Guild of Chefs’ Head judge Chris Basten commented:

“The Loughborough team were incredibly professional and served some beautiful-looking and well thought out dishes. Three dishes in an hour and a half is never easy, so well done to the team and best of luck in the final.”

Emma Holden, Country Range Student Chef Challenge Competition Manager, added:

“The semi-finals were enthralling viewing with some incredible skills, techniques and creativity on show.  A huge congratulations to the Loughborough College team on some spectacular dishes and on progressing to the final. We look forward to seeing them at ScotHot.”

The 2017 Country Range Student Chef Challenge Grand Final takes place at ScotHot at the SECC in Glasgow on 15 March.

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