Devon put on an excellent show at their biggest heat yet!

With entry numbers nearly hitting three figures, it was set to be a busy day at South Devon College on Friday 8th February. Students from four different colleges gathered for the event and as always we saw some excellent cooking coming out of the kitchens.
The morning began with the Street Food Challenge, where the students were creating their own take on authentic street food dishes using the Major Mari Bases and the judges, which included returning finalist Lucy Faulkner, were very impressed by the whole class. The standard was similarly high in the Chicken Challenge where the students were doing well at keeping calm under pressure, despite the fact that they were competing for a place in the final. Major’s Executive Development Chef, Fergus Martin, spent the day judging their modern style chicken dishes and was extremely impressed by what he saw, “the standard today was incredibly high and I thought the students were really inventive with their flavour combinations. They were all incredibly professional and they proved that even the most simple dishes can be really effective when done right.”
As the live kitchens set up for an afternoon of the Pasta Challenge and Live Skills, Chairman of the Judges for the Craft Guild of Chefs, Wayne Harris, was busy judging the static entries alongside returning finalist, Ellis Martin. Most of their day was taken up judging the astounding number of bread entries but they also had an array Afternoon Tea displays, Plated Mains and Decorated Gateaux to judge as well.
As if that wasn’t enough, there were also a number of excellent entries in the Restaurant Skills and Assorted Coffee Challenges. Judged by Louise Barton and visiting judge Charles Russel, there was an incredibly high standard shown across both classes with all of the students grabbing the opportunity to show off their skills and professionalism.
All in all, the day was a massive success and by the time the results came around, the judges, students and lecturers were all in good spirits with how the day had gone. Medals were won across the board and we want to say a huge congratulations to all of the competitors but it was Samuel Drake from City College Plymouth who received Best in Class for the Chicken Challenge and earned a place in the final. Speaking after the results, he said, “Today is my first time competing but I really enjoyed it. I used Major’s Hickory & Applewood Smoke Liquid Seasoning and Veal Jus in my dish to get the flavours to come through and I was really pleased with the end result.”
All that’s left for us to say is a big thank you to all of the colleges who took part in this year’s heat. “South Devon College have been on board with us for the Major Series since it first began and every year is getting bigger and better,” says Wayne Harris. “It’s absolutely fantastic that entries this year were nearly in the hundreds and I can only thank all of the colleges for putting the time and effort in to come down and support the competition, without them all it just wouldn’t happen.”
List of winners:
Major Chicken Challenge: Samuel Drake, City College Plymouth
Major Chicken Challenge Runner Up: Terri-Jane Paul, City College Plymouth
Major Street Food Challenge: Natalie Northfield, City College Plymouth
Major Pasta Challenge: Trafford Wilcox, Exeter College
Major Live Skills: Ashley Simons, Cornwall College
Best Overall Static: Sharna Bingham, Cornwall College, Decorated Gateaux
Major Restaurant Skills: Brandon George, Exeter College
Major Assorted Coffee Challenge: Gaevyn Allwood, South Devon College
Key Dates:
Tuesday 19th March – Major Series Hartlepool
NEW Date: 22nd May – Major Series Loughborough (download your application form here)
Tuesday 1st October – Major Series Scotland - date now confirmed

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