Trio of chefs through to exciting live cook-off!

New City College trainee chefs Samuel Paoli, Maria Carbone and Paulo Dela Cruz, have made it through to the grand final of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2022.

The Country Range competition is a prestigious culinary contest which has become a firm fixture in the catering industry’s calendar.

The team from NCC’s Hackney campus is one of just eight college teams across the country to make it to the grand final which will be held live at the Hotel, Catering and Restaurant (HCR) show at London’s ExCel on 22 March.

Here the chefs will have to work together to create, cook and present a delicious three course menu in 90 minutes that showcases their skill and understanding of flavours.

The three New City College chefs, who are all studying the Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery, were on a work experience trip to Florence when they heard the news that they had been selected for the grand final.

Through tears of joy and squeals of delight, they all agreed they were “really excited to have made it to the final. We work well as a team and we are looking forward to sharing our dishes with the judges”.

For the first stage of the contest the teams had to include full menus with recipes and costings, methodology, and images of the dishes they devised. The judges were Chris Basten, from the Craft Guild of Chefs, and Daniel Ayton, who both said it had been one of the most competitive stages in the competition’s history.

Kate Bancroft, from the Country Range Group, said: “Congratulations to all the teams who have made it through to the final. The quality of the menus submitted was phenomenal. The eight winning menus all sound incredible, so it’s shaping up to be an exciting final cook-off.”

You can taste our chefs’ amazing food by popping in to our restaurant, OKN1 at our Hackney campus. See www.okn1.co.uk or call 020 7163 9590.

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