The prestigious competition, which sees budding chefs from across the North East, compete in a range of heats throughout the day, enjoy live demonstrations, exhibits and masterclasses, took place at The Hilton Hotel Gateshead earlier this month.
Talented level 2 and 3 learners from the College’s School of Hospitality and Catering scooped up gold medals in categories including knife skills, speciality breads and hot starter heats, silvers in vegetarian and flan and bronzes in categories including larder fish prep and mille feuille.
18-year-old professional cookery student, Natasha Drummond triumphed on the day and was crowned NECTA Future Chef of the Year 2018 by Continental Chef Supplies at this year’s annual NECTA Salon Culinaire after wowing the NECTA judging panel with her dish of a tasting of lamb, spring greens and jersey royals.
Future chef competitors were given one hour to create two identical dishes and were mentored by a professional industry chef prior to competing.
Natasha said: “To be crowned Future Chef of the Year is such a surreal feeling and I am so shocked and proud of my achievement. Head Chef from Pleased to Meet You, David Kennedy was my professional mentor and offered fantastic support throughout the process. I couldn’t have done it without the skills I have developed working alongside him and my fantastic tutors.”
David Kennedy, who mentored Natasha, said: “It is great to be involved with Northumberland College and its vital students on Hospitality courses are educated in a rounded way. These young people are the future of our industry and it’s crucial we support their development in any way we can and it’s been a pleasure to be part of Natasha’s journey.”
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.
Hospitality and Catering Course Leader, David Jackson, said: “The competition was a great success and we are ecstatic with the results yet again this year and for Natasha. To do so well is an unbelieve achievement for both the students and the college. Bring on NECTA 2019.”
Students at Northumberland College visit and work with some of the finest dining establishments in the North East, including Six at the Baltic, Alnwick Castle and Pleased to Meet You, giving learners the opportunity to learn and work with industry experts.
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To apply and find out more about hospitality and catering courses at Northumberland College please visit www.northumberland.ac.uk.