Entries for the Nestlé Toque d'Or 2009 competition are being sought from UK catering colleges, with mentoring from Michelin-starred chefs on offer for finalists.
Teams who win a place in next year's Toque d'Or grand final will have the benefit of being mentored by Michelin-starred chefs for the remainder of the competition, which has been running for 21 years.
Martin Lines, marketing director, Nestlé Professional, said: "This year is going to be something really special. The students will have access to help like never before with Michelin-starred chefs acting as their personal mentors once they get past the regional heats."
The challenge requires teams of six students - four from the kitchen and two from front of house - to devise their own restaurant concept and three-course lunch menu.
Once paper judging is complete, the top 16 colleges will be invited to take part in heats to be held at their own college's restaurant / kitchen during March 2009.
Five teams will win a place at the grand final at the Birmingham NEC in June, where they will bring their restaurant concepts to life and serve 100 paying diners.
An entry form for the Toque d'Or is available here and the closing date for entries is 4 February 2009.
By Diane Lane
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