Students head to Birmingham for first Prep Cook Serve Potatoes (PCSP) cookery competition

Nine students cooked up a storm at the first PCSP competition held at Harborne Cookery School in Birmingham on Tuesday 2nd May. Focusing on celebrating potatoes and the varieties grown in the UK, the competition was open to entry level catering students to inspire and develop them during their training.

The competition was set by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) as part of the launch of the new website www.prepcookservepotatoes.org.uk a site developed with colleges and designed to be used by students, chefs and lecturers across a range of courses in catering, hospitality and culinary arts.

Students were invited to come up with an original idea for a potato dish, it could be either a completely new dish or a twist on a traditional one.

Sue Lawton, Education Manager at AHDB said, “There have been some fantastic entries and I was astounded at how professional the students were, considering they are Level 1 learners. Their approach to the competition has been very mature.”

Students are encouraged to enter competitions such as these, as it allows them to gain practical experience that prepares them for the world of work, while giving them an insight into what the industry demands.

The winner of the first PCSP competition was Nathan Gunter from City of Bristol College with his dish Pirates & Potatoes of the Caribbean.

​Pictured here with Judges Paul Wood senior chef lecturer PACE, Chris Marriott, executive chef at L’atelier des chef and Lucy Carroll from Carroll’s Heritage Potatoes. Nathan wins a Master class at L’atelier des Chefs in London for himself and 9 other students.​

Other finalists were students from colleges all over the UK: competing were Lauren Gowlding, Tyler Berkley and Kylana Lindeman from Blackpool & Fylde College, Cecilia de Menezes from Lakefield Hospitality College, Emily-Rose Clark and Jacob Sarsam from North Kent College and Christopher Murillo Crespo and Diakhalaye Diakhite from Newham College. The level of competition was extremely high and all teams created some great dishes.

Duncan Weetman, Curriculum Manager Hospitality and Catering at North Kent College who had two students taking part in the finals, said he was very pleased with their work saying “This competition is a great opportunity for Level 1 Learners to cut their teeth on competition work. It gives them a chance to showcase the skills they have already gained and get some constructive feedback from someone other than their tutor. I am hoping this will give them the enthusiasm and appetite to enter more competitions as they move into Level 2 programme”

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