Accessibility & Translation

Students scoop a massive 96 awards in International Salon Culinaire competition

Hospitality and Culinary Arts students at Westminster Kingsway College have won an impressive 96 awards in this year’s International Salon Culinaire.

Students scoop a massive 96 awards in International Salon Culinaire competition

The contest is regarded as one of the world’s top competitions for chefs and takes place alongside the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) expo at ExCeL London.

Participants compete in various hospitality and culinary skills challenges from food preparation and creating dishes to mixing cocktails and laying tables.

Students from WestKing achieved eight gold, 59 silver and 13 bronze medals, including several judged as beat in class, along with 16 merit awards.

Among this year’s winners were Jack Georgiou, Marta Sagan and George Oakes, who all won gold and best in class in the Country Range Student Chef Team Challenge.

They were tasked with creating a three-course meal in an hour and 30 minutes that included a scallop starter, a main course of Moroccan-inspired quail and chocolate biscuit dessert.

Jack, 18, who is studying a Professional Cookery Level 3 Diploma, said: “We weren’t going in blind. We were told what ingredients and had developed our dishes for the competition and practised them in advance, but there is only so much preparation you can do because you don’t know what you’re going to be working with and things can change.

“We encountered a few small issues, but we worked well together and would jump in a and help each other and give each other a push when we needed to. I was a bit nervous at the start but confident we could do it, and we managed to pull it off in the end. I enjoyed it, it was a really good experience and it’s nice to win as well.”

Marta, 18, who is studying a Professional Patisserie and Confectionary Level 3 Diploma, said: “I was more stressed at the beginning than during it, except when it hit the 10-minute countdown and then five minutes and you’re rushing to put the final touches of your dish together.

“I don’t think any of us expected to win. You’re constantly thinking about what you might have done wrong, what other people have done for their dishes and what the judges might think, so the relief when we found out we had won was great. It was a brilliant achievement.”

Students scoop a massive 96 awards in International Salon Culinaire competition

WestKing’s winners also included Cosmin Enache, Chloe Stening, Chardonnay Raymond-Bailey and Aaron Wayne who won five gold and five silver medals between them.

Cosmin, 18, who is studying a Professional Cookery Level 3 Diploma, won gold in the Sea Bass/Trout Preparation and Butcher a Whole Chicken competition and silver in the Lemon Sole Filleting.

He said: “I felt quite confident because I was lucky enough to have the chance to take part in the competition last year, so I was fairly relaxed and knew what to expect and what I was doing. Last year I got two silver medals and a bronze, so I’ve gone one better this time!

“There were a lot of friends around and some pressure on myself to do better, but I think that actually helped me to raise my game. I’ve filleted a lot of fish at college and hadn’t really seen how much I had improved, but a lot of people said I had. These medals show how much I have improved and given me more confidence in my skills.”

The competition, which dates back to 1902, was judged by professional chefs, restauranteurs and culinary experts from across the UK.

Terry Tinton, Head of School for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, said: “I am delighted to congratulate our students on another successful year at the International Salon Culinaire. Our students received awards for every category they were entered in, and I am hugely proud of every one of them.

“I am also incredibly proud of our fantastic team of chef lecturers who put in 16-hour days and weekends to support them without hesitation. With this level of commitment, it’s no wonder so many of students go on to achieve success in competitions and their future careers.”

Find out more about Hospitality and Culinary Arts courses and apply here.


Queen's Award for Enterprise