Central Bedfordshire College students brought home a haul of medals at the national Wessex Salon Culinaire competition staged at the College’s Incuba Centre last week.
Culinary students from across the country converged on the College on Tuesday and Wednesday to participate in this prestigious and highly revered culinary competition, designed to test a range of skills including planning, preparation, cooking, presentation, flair and speed.
Silver medals went to Central Beds apprentices - Hannah Lane for her ‘Scallop dish’, Dean Madden for his ‘Chicken Supreme’, Malick Mbaye (who was a double medal winner) for his ‘Chicken Cuts’ dish, and Shannay Thomas for her ethnic meat dish. All of the medal winning dishes were visually stunning and represented the best of contemporary modern cuisine.
Over 50 colleges and employers took part in the event which was held in the College’s ‘theatre style’ kitchens at the Incuba campus. Judges were looking for professional skills, health and safety practices, demonstration of excellent hygiene, taste and flavour, innovation, organizational skills and producing within the allocated time.
Learning area manager and organiser of the event, Raj Mandal was proud to host this nationally recognised event and said: “Colleges are hotbeds of talent, enthusiasm and aspiration for young people. Competitions like this allow them to showcase their abilities which simulate real life in a pressurised kitchen, giving them a head start into careers in the industry.”
The College’s hot squad scooped 16 prizes in total securing their place as the top Hospitality and Catering provider in Bedfordshire. Raj continued: “I am extremely proud of the students and all of the staff at the Incuba centre who put on a professional show this week.”
Central Bedfordshire College offers a wide range of hospitality and catering courses for all ages and abilities using its state of the art kitchens and working restaurant and is recognised for providing an excellent student experience.
Central Bedfordshire College has received its second quality endorsement in two months as the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) publishes its review of the College which took place in February.
A team of QAA reviewers visited the College and judged that its academic standards, the quality and enhancement of its student learning opportunities, and the quality of information about its learning opportunities all meet UK expectations.
The review identifies two examples of good practice:
The review took place just weeks before the College was also visited by Ofsted inspectors who rated the College’s Further Education provision to be ‘Good’ for the second time in a row.
Principal Ali Hadawi CBE, is extremely happy that all provision at the College has now been externally reviewed and the College has received a resounding endorsement for its standards across the board. He said: “Having our provision critically assessed by both QAA and Ofsted within weeks of each other has been perfect timing. All the work we have undertaken in the last three years - to grow our provision, improve quality and invest in industry standard facilities has been formally acknowledged by both of the UK’s education inspection agencies.
He continued: “Our Higher Education provision is going from strength to strength and we offer a high quality, affordable, local option for the community which means students can access degree level qualifications closer to home. We offer something quite different to many traditional universities, focusing on providing the skills that employers need.'
The review also made the following recommendations to the College:
The successful review means that the College can display the QAA Quality Mark, indicating to UK and international students that it meets national requirements for standards and quality.