The competition took place at Newcastle Racecourse on 5 April
and included a mixture of competitions, live classes, displays and
The College entered 18 students into the competition and secured
21 medals overall, placing in every category they entered,
including Knife Skills, Sugar Craft, Vegetarian, Chicken
Preparation, Mille Feuille and a Team Competition.
41-year-old Dawn Carr from Cramlington, who is studying
towards her NVQ Level 3 in Professional Cookery won the most medals
of the day for the college, securing a Gold in the Chicken Larder
heat, which included carving two whole chickens in 30 minutes in
two different styles, supreme and sautéed and then two bronzes' for
her performance within the team event.
Dawn said: "I am so proud to be part of a fantastic
hard-working winning team and thrilled with my three medals. I've
been preparing for this competition both in classes and at home and
have also volunteered in the College's restaurant, The Gallery, on
my days off to gain extra experience to ensure I was competition
"It was an honour to be picked for the team event to represent
the College alongside my tutor David Jackson.
"The team were so supportive to one another and we all
thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I've always loved to cook and
from this competition experience I hope it'll take me once step
closer to completing my dream of owning my own business in this
The students had weeks of training preparing for the competition
and their continuous efforts reflected on their fantastic
Hospitality and Catering Course Leader, David Jackson,
said: "The competition was a great success and we are ecstatic with
the results. To do so well is an unbelieve achievement for both the
students and the college."
Further success included NVQ Level 2 Professional Cookery
student, 17-year-old Natasha Drummond from Newbiggin, who took Gold
in the Knife Skills competition which included peeling and
preparing vegetables to strict measurements.
Natasha said: "My heat involved preparing vegetables in
different styles including Brunoise and Paysanne. I was so nervous
at first but once I got to my station in front of an encouraging
audience my competitive streak pushed through.
"I was so shocked to find out I had won, it's a huge
achievement. My tutors and team are so experienced, professional
and supportive, we all cheered each other on throughout the
The NECTA competition offers an excellent opportunity for all
chefs and front-of-house personnel to present their skill and
talents in a professional, but friendly environment and to profit
from an exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Northumberland College appointed a new Head of Hospitality
in the summer, Andy Brown, which saw 24 years of experience within
the catering and teaching industry added to the team.
Andy said: "To be crowned North East Champions at NECTA is a
huge honour and something our team, led by tutor, David Jackson,
fully deserved after what was an excellent all round display.
"The victory is further evidence of the improvement that the
Hospitality Department here at Northumberland College has made
"It hopefully sends a clear message to anybody wanting to study
hospitality that the skills you develop at our college are second
This year, Northumberland College also had a competitor in the
North East Future Chef of the Year 2017 for the first time in the
Douglas Jordan, chairman of NECTA, commented: "NECTA Future Chef
is the only competition of its kind in our region and gives all
aspiring young chefs who take part the opportunity to develop their
careers within the industry."
All eight competitors who secured a place had a
professional mentor and the College's entry, 32-year-old NVQ Level
2 Professional Cookery student,Scott Burns from Choppington worked
with Head Chef at Pleased to Meet you, David Kennedy.
David Kennedy said: "It is great to be involved with
Northumberland College and its vital students on Hospitality
courses are educated in a rounded way, which gives exposure to all
elements of the industry and hosting evenings within the Gallery
Restaurant, with leading local hotels and restaurants is all part
of the culture that is developing at Northumberland College. These
young people are the future of our industry and its crucial we
support their development in any way we can."
Over the next six months' further developments within
Northumberland College's School of Hospitality and Catering will
see the introduction of new technical qualifications at Level 2
starting in September.
Andy added: "Changes to our qualifications will further
strengthen the training on offer. The students are thrilled with
the outcome and I'm already looking forward to defending our title
Since September, students at the college have visited some of
the finest dining establishments in the North East, including the
Crowne Plaza and Jesmond Dene House. Plus, they have been to
manufacturers and wholesalers including Taylor Seafood's, giving
the learners the opportunity to hear from industry experts.
The Gallery restaurant, which is situated in Northumberland
College's Ashington Campus, comfortably seats up to 40 diners,
offering fine dining and a professional and friendly service.
This year the restaurant hosted its very first ten-course
degustation and wine pairing event and regular themed evenings,
including the popular Steak Night. The Gallery has also recently
welcomed a host of guest chefs including David Kennedy and Jonathon
McManus, Head Chef at Alnwick Castle.
The restaurant is available to hire out and bookings may be made
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply and find out more about Hospitality and Catering
courses at Northumberland College please visit www.northumberland.ac.uk
College's NECTA full results
NVQ Level 2
Natasha Drummond, 17, Newbiggin, Knife Skills (Gold)
Shawn Carr, 18, Blyth Vegetarian dish (Silver)
Scott Burn, 34, Choppington, NECTA future chef finalist
NVQ Level 3
Dawn Carr, 41, Cramlington, Chicken Larder (Gold)
Dawn Carr, 41, Cramlington, Team Event, Kitchen (Bronze)
Dawn Carr, 41, Cramlington, Team Event Overall (Bronze)
Catherine Brown, 28, Ashington, Original Hot dessert
Melanie Joisce, 39, Blyth, Hot Starter (Bronze)
Kerry Hall, 39, Blyth - Chicken main (Silver)
Nichola McFarlane, 32, Blyth, Larder fish (Gold)
Adina Lonsdale, 17, Morpeth, Milly Feuille (Silver)
Diploma in Hospitality
Supervision Level 3
Dean Tatum, 23, Ashington, Most Professionally dressed student
Dean Tatum, 23, Ashington, Team Event, Overall (Bronze)
David Jackson - Team Event, Kitchen (Bronze)
David Jackson - Team Event, Overall (Bronze)
Introduction to the Hospitality Sector, Entry 3
Rachel Lynch, 21, Morpeth, Savory Flan (Bronze)
Alannah Harvey, 20, Whitley Bay, Savoury Flan (Bronze)
Peter Halliday, 16, Alnwick, Savoury Flan (Silver)
Michael James, 17, Whitley Bay, Savoury Flan (Gold)
Kelsie Marshall, 20, Morpeth, Sugarcraft, (Bronze)
Mathew Darling, 25, Killingworth, Bread (Bronze)