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MK College student chefs get put through their paces

Date Posted:14/05/2014

MK College food awardsIt has been a busy few weeks for the trainee chefs of The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College.

On April 8th, for the third year running, ahead of the annual MK Food and Leisure Awards, the College’s professional kitchen and restaurant played host to the “Chef Of The Year” category for the annual Milton Keynes Food Awards Cook-Off.

With eleven professional chefs fiercely competing for the coveted title, things were soon hotting up in the kitchen, as they worked tirelessly to produce innovative and delicious dishes that they hoped would impress the assembled judging panel.

As well as the professional chefs vying for an award, there was also a competition for the MK College catering students. Fatima De Ocera, Joseph McRoberts Ellen Heavey and Patience Karinge were tasked with designing the canapés and dessert for the upcoming awards ceremony. Fatima won the canapés competition and Ellen produced the winning dessert. Their reward for their hard work will be a trip sponsored by gourmet pastry manufacturer Pidy, to France and Belgium.

Of Fatima and Ellen’s achievements Paul Eason, Chef and Business Development Manager at Pidy said, “The quality of what these young women produced was exceptionally high. Fatima’s canapés were innovative and on trend and Ellen’s dessert, which utilised a Pidy sweet cone was a real hit with the guests.”

The awards ceremony itself, which took place on May 11th at Jury’s Inn Hotel, was a roaring success. On the night, fellow students Patience Karinge and Chantelle Holt assisted Fatima and Ellen in the food preparation and what they produced was so well received, that they were invited on stage to receive a rapturous applause from the gratefully sated crowd.

Praise was also heaped upon the ceremony and its organiser, Stephen Dryden-Hall. Paul Eason was especially complimentary, he said, “The MK Food and Leisure Awards is such a special event, as it recognises and supports the local, established talent within Milton Keynes and also champions those that are new to the industry, that show immense skill and promise.”

Of the student’s success, Tony Oxley, Programme Manager of Hospitality and Catering at Milton Keynes College said “I am very proud that Milton Keynes College learners played such an integral part in the awards ceremony. It has really put our trainee chefs and the College on the map with so many more local businesses and dignitaries.” He continued, “It has been a fantastic learning experience for them, right from the initial conception of their dishes, right through to working in a busy commercial kitchen, where they produced exceptional food for 180 people.”

The MK Food and Leisure Awards not only looks to celebrate MK’s best chefs, but also has categories to decide the best small and large hotels, best waiting staff, best restaurant and best attraction in Milton Keynes, to name but a few.

A full list of the award winners can be found on the MK Food and Leisure Awards website:

For menus and how to book a table at The Brasserie at Milton Keynes College visit: