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Four Gold Medals and a final spot for Hospitality and Catering learners in Major competition heat

Hospitality and Catering learners have put on an impressive display in, what was for many, a first experience of competitive cooking.

In addition to the four gold medals, Eastleigh College learners took home eight silver and four bronze medals, as well as a ‘Best-in-Class’ accolade for learner Mia, who will go on to represent the College in the grand final at the HRC in London in front of an estimated 3000 people. A varied range of main course dishes and street food was on display, showcasing real depth and diversity in culinary skills and the judges were quick to praise the strong standard of cooking among competitors. All learners had only 60 minutes to create their meal from scratch for the judges.

The Major series is one of the longest running young chef competitions in the UK and provides learners of all skill level ranges with a taste of a competitive environment. Heats take place across England, Scotland and Wales before a finalist showdown in London in the Spring. This year’s prize for the overall winner will be a Michelin-starred meal for themselves and a plus one in their local area. They will also be invited to the Major headquarters in Milton Keynes where they will have the opportunity to participate in a special two-day culinary flavour discovery session.

Mia will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Eastleigh College alumnus Rishi, who took home last year’s Culinary Challenge crown after an outstanding performance in the London final. Mia and Rishi then both enjoyed further success, together with fellow learner Ed, as they won the Innovation Award in the Young Restaurant Team of the Year.

The Hospitality and Catering team at Eastleigh College commented: “All of the tutors here are proud of the students’ hard work and commitment leading up to the competition and their professionalism, team spirit and support for each other today. For many of them this is their first competition and they have all done incredibly well and this has really motivated and boosted their confidence.”

Wayne Harris, chairman of judges for the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “It gives me great pleasure to be part of this competition and it’s great to see so many chefs coming forward to compete each year. This competition provides a great opportunity for chefs to showcase their skills and is guaranteed to test their culinary ability and workmanship in addition to their use of flavour and understanding of the Major products.”

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