Hospitality students from Newcastle College once again dominated the NECTA Salon Culinaire competition, winning 16 gold medals.
For the seventh year in a row, Newcastle College students beat off stiff competition from other colleges to be crowned overall Hospitality College of the Year.
Students impressed judges with their culinary skills within categories such as speciality bread, fish, dessert, cocktail making and knife skills.
The NECTA Salon Culinaire event is an inter-college competition, held at Newcastle Racecourse by the North East Culinary Trade Association (NECTA), which is a partnership of the region's key players and leading culinary experts. Its aims are to provide the skills and opportunities available to chefs, food producers and catering professionals in the North of England.
The competition is held annually over two days and showcases the best chefs and culinary students the region has to offer.
As well as 16 gold medals out of a possible 27, students also took home five silver medals and three bronze medals.
Anna Calimbahin, 17 from Ashington, took gold for her knife skills, where she presented an impressive section of vegetable cuts presented on individual dishes.
Anna said: “I was really nervous before the competition started but we’ve been working hard in college for the last month so I was confident I could do well. I’ve also just won a cookery competition at the Jurys Inn a part of my course which meant I was used to competing.”
Another student to take home a prestigious gold was professional cookery student, Katelyn Wilson, 16 from Fenham. She prepared a complex lemon sole dish and was able to draw upon the skills learnt at college and in her part-time job.
Katelyn said: “I really enjoyed the competition; it’s a great way to put my skills to the test. In college we’ve been practicing two days a week so it was nice that I was able to get a reward for all the hard work. My ambition is to find a full-time job once I finish my course. Through the College I’ve already got a part-time job preparing food in the Kitchen at Pleased to Meet You in Newcastle.”
Craig Cowan, Hospitality Team Leader at Newcastle College, said: “Our students have once again done us extremely proud. We have an excellent track record of success at the NECTA competition and we’re delighted to see the students hard work recognised once again.
“We aim to give our learners the practical skills and experience to be able to progress to employment and competitions such as NECTA are a great way for them to put these new skills into practice.”