Three young chefs have been selected as the winners of the Electrolux Chef Academy 2013, winning the ultimate work experience placement in three Michelin-starred restaurants.
Viktorija Bernataviciute, 25, a third-year chef graduate at Northampton College, Jonah Kellar, 18, of City College Plymouth and Giuseppe Giorgio Finocchio, 22, of Westminster Kingsway College have all won a 12-month fully-funded work placement in three of the UK's top Michelin-starred restaurants.
The three fiercely-contested winner spots, will see each of the winners spend a year working with Michelin-starred chefs Tom Kitchin of the Kitchin in Edinburgh, Simon Hulstone of The Elephant in Torquay and Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias of Casamia in Bristol, on a rotational basis.
Just seven young hopefuls made it through to the grand final, competing as individuals but working together in teams to create a three-course meal for the judging panel. A key element of the competition was to demonstrate their ability to work within a team and handle the pressure of a professional kitchen.
Head judge Simon Hulstone, said: "Individually the three winners were all excellent but ultimately they came together well in their team and showed stand out qualities such as skill, determination and good attitude that would be perfectly suited in any kitchen brigade."
As the only female to be placed, Bernataviciute said she was overwhelmed by the opportunity ahead: "I feel absolutely ecstatic to have won a place on the Electrolux Chef Academy. It's impossible to describe how much this means to me and I can't wait for this life changing experience to start."
Vanessa Holloway, marketing manager for Electrolux, commented: "Electrolux has been supporting professional kitchens for nearly a century with our appliances. Naturally, we are proud to have launched Electrolux Chef Academy sharing our extensive expertise to create these kinds of life-changing opportunities to aspiring young chefs. The success of the academy is about getting the right people together from industry and education to deliver a credible learning platform with true integrity.
Each of the winners' respective colleges will also receive an Electrolux Professional Touchline Combi-Steam oven to help train future chef students.
The Electrolux Chef Academy final was held at DSI Foods Limited, a catering business in central London that creates first class menus for major airlines in a professional development kitchen. DSI is a key partner of Electrolux and supporter of the Electrolux Chef Academy.