Jockey Club Catering (JCC) in conjunction with South Thames’ Hospitality and Catering Academy have developed a student led skills initiative which is now in its second year.
The initiative tests students' abilities to work unsupervised under pressure; form teams with appropriate and supportive skills set: design, pitch, cost and prepare menu's to a challenging specified client brief within a short timescale.
The criteria for this year's challenge allowed the students just four weeks to organise teams, cost menus and prepare for the menu pitch and cook-off.
Three teams of Level 2 and Level 3 student chefs pitched menu ideas to JCC Culinary Director - Frazer Wilson, along with the JCC Epsom team, around a pre-published and fully costed challenging client brief. Following the Dragon's Den style pitch, the students were judged on a cook-off of the selected dishes before agreeing the final menus to form part of the JCC annual Skills Fair. Each of the three teams of six students competed in a live kitchen cook off at the skills fair and had to produce seventy portions of their three course menu for attending guests.
Academy Honorary Chef Patron Albert Roux OBE and Michel Roux Jnr were on hand to judge the final cook-off and award the winners with a £50 voucher each and a week's work experience with Chez Roux restaurants.
All competitors received a certificate of participation and a signed cookery book by Michel Roux Jnr.
It has also been confirmed that all competing students will be offered the opportunity to work for JCC at the Epsom Derby Festival 2017 in June. Likewise, the winning team will also be invited to prepare and serve their menu during the festival in the JCC corporate suite.