trio of photos from the intercollege hospitality competition show judges looking at the work done

Inter College Culinary Challenge

Published: 21st June 2023

Published by City College Southampton

We’re delighted to have hosted the Inter College Culinary Challenge again this year in our industry-standard training kitchens and Aspire Restaurant. Over 70 students from across five different colleges in the region competed on their culinary skills, professional table lay-up, cocktail making, and other hospitality skills.

The day was a huge success, with lots of happy excited students filled with optimism and confidence, buzzing around the college between categories. It was a pleasure to see all the students encouraging each other and cheering each other on.

Congratulations to everyone that took part, especially our hospitality student Fiona for being awarded ‘Best in Class – Pasta Category’

Pleased that she won, Fiona said: “I’m very surprised and extremely proud to have won. It has been a great experience!”

Alongside the Best in Class – Pasta Category, our students also won 3x gold, 11x silver and 2x bronze awards.

Simon Hart, Senior Teacher in Hospitality shared: “I find student competitions a great way to stretch learning and to help get them ready for the workplace. It gives students the opportunity to excel and the competitive edge required in the industry. It is important that students enjoy what they are doing if they are going to progress into head chef/manager roles and this is often the first step on that journey.”

The judges were from a wide range of industry positions and companies but they were all keen to support the next generation and understand how important it is to host events like this competition.

Lex Bartlett-Woodnutt, Apprentice Manager at The Pig Group, commented: “There is a shortage of chefs throughout the hospitality industry, we as a group work with many schools and colleges to encourage students into hospitality. This competition helps students to gain skills in pressure, time management etc. which gives them a feel of a real kitchen environment.”

Alistair Craig, Executive Chef at Careys Manor Hotel, added: “I feel it is important to support the industry whilst also supporting the students and showing them what is achievable.”

Ian Gibbs, Head Chef at The Riverside Coventry Arms, Wimborne said: “These students are the future of the hospitality industry. It’s good to create a bit of pressure to give them a feel of the industry whilst also an opportunity to gather good knowledge.”

A huge thanks to all of the judges, sponsors, college staff and students that helped make the event such a success and enjoyable for all.