In a series of challenges centred around sustainable futures, 24 college teams and 48 apprentices took part in the national heats in Glasgow, Birmingham and London in Westminster and Gatwick.
For the college teams, this meant a three-course vegetarian meal with wine pairing for eight covers plus the competition judges. The apprentices were tasked with producing four covers of their original vegetarian dish in just 1.5 hours to serve to the judges, which for the heats included Paul Mannering, chef academy principal at HIT Training, and Adam Bateman, group operations and development chef at InterContinental Hotels Group.
The finalists include:
•City of Glasgow College
•Southern Regional College
•University College Birmingham
•University of Derby
•Dmitri Zihharko, Connect Catering
•Megan Baldock, Goldman Sachs
•Kathleen Davie, Upper Shirley High
•Jack Baldwin, The Bruce Arms
•Lily Stock, Boodles
•Drew Dawson, The Ned
Mick Burke, chair of judges and fellow of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, said: "Myself and my fellow judges were astounded at the standard of food service during the national heats, selecting just 12 grand finalists certainly wasn't an easy task. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how they cope with our toughest trials yet and can't wait to see what they produce. If the standard so far is anything to go by, it'll be worth the wait."
Katya Simmons, managing director at Nestlé Professional UK & Ireland, added: "It's clear that sustainability will become even more of a key factor in the foodservice industry in coming years and lead to exciting new trendsâ¦ I have been particularly pleased to see the level of enthusiasm that all competitors have demonstrated towards this year's theme. The results have been impressive, and it goes to show what can be achieved when embracing a sustainable future."Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).