Iona Duncan, Agnieszka Dudko and Katarzyna Hospodarewska from Ayrshire College have been crowned Country Range Student Chef Challenge champions 2017.
They were awarded the title after a live theatre final at the annual ScotHot exhibition at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow this week
Competing against college teams from around the UK including Blackpool and The Fylde College, City College Norwich, the City of Liverpool College, Glasgow Clyde College, Henley College, Hopwood Hall College and Loughborough College, the female trio impressed judges with their teamwork, cooking skills, creativity and plate perfect dishes.
Henley College Coventry and City College Norwich took runner-up and third place, respectively.
Teams had to create and plate a three-course meal in 90 minutes within the theme of ‘healthy gourmet fine dining'. This included a vegetarian starter containing at least one ‘super grain', a main course that could contain meat or fish but had to be centred around imaginative healthy cooking techniques, and a dessert that should contain fruit where possible and refrain from containing too much butter and cream.
The winning menu from Ayrshire College consisted of:
• Mushroom consommé with chia seed dumpling, broccoli, pickled mushrooms and textures of onion
• Guinea fowl, crispy black pudding, fennel, carrot and orange purée and potato Boulangère, Port jus
• Pistachio, lime and coconut cake with coconut sorbet, passion fruit jelly and compressed mango
In addition, the college team have also won the opportunity to work with the Craft Guild of Chef's culinary team in catering for more than a thousand guests at the Craft Guild of Chefs Annual Awards 2017.
The annual Country Range Student Chef Challenge is run in partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs for full-time hospitality and catering college students to showcase their skills and creativity, while also building on their skills and experience under pressure.
Agnieszka Dudko, from the winning team, said: "It's just absolutely amazing and we're all still speechless. We practised hard, worked together, were clean and tidy and cared about everything we did and the hard work definitely paid off in the end."
Annmarie Farr, Ayrshire College lecturer, added: "I'm the proudest lecturer around and delighted my team have won the crown. "
Craft Guild of Chefs' head judge Chris Basten said: "A massive congratulations to Ayrshire College who are definitely deserved winners this year. The team showed bags of innovation in their menus and definitely hit the brief with what they served."
Emma Holden, marketing coordinator at Country Range, said: "It's been an incredible challenge with the bar being raised higher and higher each year. All the teams who competed received gold or silver awards from ScotHot too which just shows the high standard on show by the student chefs."
Applications for the 2018 Country Range Student Chef Challenge open on the 30 April at www.countryrangestudentchef.co.uk.
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