Commis chef Ben Murphy of Koffmann's is on the top of the world after being awarded a gold medal for cooking at WorldSkills London 2011.
Murphy, 20, was one of three hospitality contestants competing in the event, which came to a close last night with a presentation ceremony at the O2. Stefan Howells, 21, demi-chef de partie, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire, and Wojciech Pastor, 20, chef-de-rang, Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Perthshire, were both awarded Medallions for Excellence in the confectioner/pastry chef and restaurant service categories respectively.
As members of Team UK, the three young men were involved in the global competition - held every two years - which this time saw 1,000 contestants from 52 countries/regions compete in 46 vocational skills. Over 200,000 visitors attended the four-day event, held at ExCel, London.
The UK's tally of five gold, two silver, six bronze and 12 Medallions for Excellence, was the highest ever achieved by the home team and beat its target of 10 medals.
Murphy said that it was an amazing feeling to be crowned the best in the world at cooking. "Standing on the podium receiving my medal in front of a packed venue at The 02 Arena is an experience I will never forget," he said. "This is what I've been training for all this time, and I am just so pleased I've been able to make my family, friends, training manager and all those who have supported me along the way, so proud.
"Just as importantly, I hope my success will inspire others to think about their career options and that I've managed to show everyone that there are options for them. I'd definitely say that a career in cooking is very rewarding!"
Skills Minister John Hayes said the inspirational results were a tribute to the skill, imagination and purposeful pride of young British people. "Team UK has shown that UK workers and businesses can take on the world and win - but I want many thousands more people in the UK to achieve excellence," he said.
WorldSkills Council 2011 gallery on Table Talk >> ](http://www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk/media/worldskills-london-2011/default.aspx)
Video highlights from WorldSkills London 2011 >>
By Janet Harmer
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