Students in Hartlepool Give it All They’ve Got in the Latest Heat of the 2019 Major Series

With the 2019 Major Series now well underway, we headed to the North of England for the latest heat, which took place at Hartlepool College last month. With over 65 entries across the classes, it was a busy day right from the start and things soon got underway with the Chicken Challenge.
At all of this year’s heats, the judges have been impressed by the skill and professionalism shown by the students and this heat was no different. There were a mix of new and returning competitors making up this year’s entries and it was great to see them really throwing themselves into the competition. Matt Owens, Major’s Business Development Manager for London and Development Chef, spent the day judging the live heats and was impressed by what he saw. “The students have really done themselves and their colleges proud today. We’ve seen some fantastic dishes in the live heats that have really shown that they understand the Major products and how to use them to balance the flavours in their dishes.”
As the day went on, the action in the live kitchen continued with the Street Food and Pasta challenges but through in the restaurant the first static entries were beginning to appear on the tables. Yet again, the Decorated Gateaux and Bread classes proved popular with the students and the judges were impressed by the creative designs on display. “The standard across the classes is improving year on year and its great to see some of the students come back and compete in the same class for a second time to try and better their result from the year before, excelling in some cases,” says Wayne Harris, Chairman of the Judges for the Craft Guild of Chefs.
The Major Series is a great platform for the students to hone their skills ready for bigger competitions and the working world. Kevin Dove, Lecturer at Hartlepool College, says “I’ve been involved with the Major Series since 2012 and to watch the levels of creativity, talent and individual flair improve each year is just fantastic. These students are the future of our industry and it’s really exciting to see them want to participate and develop their skills.”
As the day drew to a close and the students gathered together for the results, the excitement in the room was palpable. It was smiles all around as each student went up to collect their awards and the rapturous applause from their peers said it all. At the end of the day, it was Gavin Jackson from New College Durham who took away a Gold Medal and Best in Class for the Chicken Challenge meaning that he will progress to the 2020 final! All that’s left for us to say is a big thank you to Hartlepool College for hosting this year’s heat and a massive congratulations to all of the competitors. We can’t wait to see more fantastic entries from them this time next year when the heat returns to New College Durham.
List of Winners:

Major Chicken Challenge: Gavin Jackson, New College Durham
Major Chicken Challenge Runner Up: Nikita Wren, New College Durham
Major Street Food Challenge: Jaydan Howey, New College Durham
Major Pasta Challenge: Jonathan Breward, Hartlepool College
Major Live Skills: Zainab Aftab, New College Durham
Best Overall Static: Christopher Windram, Hartlepool College, Bread
Major Restaurant Skills: Bethany Young, New College Durham
Key Dates:

Wednesday 21st May – Major Series Loughborough
Tuesday 1st October – Major Series Scotland