Young chefs celebrate 55-medal haul in International Salon Culinaire competition

Student chefs won an outstanding 55 medals as Westminster Kingsway College was named the highest achieving college at this year’s International Salon Culinaire.

More than 600 chefs took part in the culinary challenge, considered one of the world’s top competitions for chefs, at the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering event at ExCel London in March.

WestKing’s students achieved three gold, 37 silver and 16 bronze medals and two certificates of merit, in various culinary skills challenges.

Among the college’s top performers were Professional Chef Diploma students Taylor Muller and Kaleisha Gordon, both 18, who each won a gold medal and best in class.

Taylor was awarded for her lamb and Kaleisha for her petit fours.

Kaleisha said: “I felt very excited to be chosen to participate in the competition and I really wanted to prove to myself that I was good enough. I was very happy when I won gold and knew all my hard work had paid off.

“The competition pushed me to really show my skills. We only had a week to prepare so I made a plan of everything and stayed behind at college every evening to practise.

“What I love most about cooking is the creativity and being able to express myself through my dishes. I enjoy challenging myself and seeing how far I can push myself.

“The college has prepared me well for the working world. It’s given me more confidence in the kitchen and helped me discover so much about myself.”

Also among the winners was Commis Chef apprentice Cameron Jones, 18, who won a gold medal for his amuse-bouche and a silver for his lemon sole filleting.

Other medallists included Marli Carter, 19, and Jess Erskine, 18, who were both presented with silver medals and named best in class for their deserts and pastries respectively.

Miranda Quantrill, Curriculum Manager for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, said: “We were thrilled to have been the highest achieving college at this year’s Salon Culinaire and are immensely proud of all our students and apprentices.

“For many of them, it was their first time taking part in such a highly regarded competition against other colleges, restaurants and hotels, so to take home more than 50 medals is a fantastic achievement. They are a credit to themselves, their mentors, their teachers and the college.”

Michelin-star chef Michel Roux Jr presented medals and certificates to the winners of the competition, which was judged by some of the UK’s most renowned chefs.

Steve Munkley, Director of International Salon Culinaire, said: “Salon Culinaire 2022 was an outstanding success, with all the theatre kitchens buzzing from early doors until the last competition.

“As Salon Director I was so proud to see the industry showing off its professionalism, hunger and tenacity, not letting anything stand in the way of getting us back on track and cooking. An amazing show.”

WestKing is one of the country’s top colleges for learning cooking and the culinary arts. As well as having great contacts with high-quality hospitality employers, which helps students get good jobs when they finish their studies, we also support students into culinary competitions like the Salon Culinaire, which is amazing preparation for their future careers.

Find out more and apply now for hospitality and culinary arts courses and hospitality apprenticeships.

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