Three young hospitality professionals have been selected to represent the UK at this year's WorldSkills event, which will take place in London in October.
The biennial WorldSkills contest, which will be held over four days on 5-8 October at ExCel, will see 1,000 young people from more than 50 countries take part in 46 skills competitions. Disciplines will include cabinet making, landscape gardening, graphic design, floristry and hairdressing.
The hospitality industry will be represented by three categories: cooking, confectionery and pastry, and restaurant service.
Representing the UK in cooking will be 20-year-old Ben Murphy (left), commis chef at Pierre Koffmann's eponymous restaurant at London's Berkeley hotel, while in the confectionery and pastry discipline Stefan Howells (21, above), demi chef de partie in pastry at the two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire, will be competing.
Meanwhile Wojciech Pastor, aged 20 (below) and chef de rang Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, will represent the UK in the restaurant service category.
The three competitors were chosen following a four-day selection process and will now begin their training for the WorldSkills contest, with the support of a dedicated training manager.
Murphy said it was a huge honour to have been chosen to represent the UK at WorldSkills London 2011. "I hope this opportunity will allow us to showcase how vocational learning can lead to successful employment and career opportunities," he said. "I know the next few months will be tough as we will be in training for the event and I really hope the whole of the country gets behind us."
Skills Minister John Hayes added: "Those representing the UK at WorldSkills will play a hugely important role in bringing the value of vocational skills and practical learning to national attention. I offer my warm support and congratulations to every member of the team."
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs