Nestlé Toque d'Or has announced a record number of entries for its 25th anniversary year, with more than 40 teams from colleges across the country taking part.
Extra dates were added to accommodate the additional teams. Heats took place in Birmingham, Portsmouth, Blackpool, Sheffield, Glasgow, Bath and London, with the final heat in Norwich on 24 April.
Neil Stephens, managing director of Nestlé Professional, said: "We're overwhelmed by the ongoing interest in and support for Toque d'Or shown by colleges and are particularly delighted to have engaged with so many young people in the 25th year.
"As ever the students have displayed talent and enthusiasm that has been simply incredible, which I'm sure will make for a spectacular grand final event in May."
The annual competition is open to any student studying catering or hospitality at a UK-based college. Each team is made up of one waiter and one chef, who are marked on their ability to work together as well as their individual performance.
After the last heat, eight finalists were announced to go on to compete for the Nestlé Toque d'Or 2013 title and the grand prize of three weeks tutelage under Anton Mosimann.
For news of the eight finalists and more information about the competition visit http://www.nestle-toquedor.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">www.nestle-toquedor.co.uk