After an amazing start to 2018 which saw three students from Coleg Llandrillo's Hospitality and Catering department gain places in the finals of three major competitions, they ended the year in a similar vein, after helping the Welsh culinary team scoop two medals at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg.
21-year-old Oliver Parry-Molloy from Llandudno, Dalton Weir (19, from Mochdre) and Morgan Read (18, from Caerwys) joined members from Culinary Team Wales in the battle to win medals, whilst also getting the opportunity to observe some of the world's leading chefs in action.
The Wales team, who were competing against the world's best culinary teams, eventually won a silver medal in the Hot Kitchen and a bronze in the Culinary Art category. The three students aided the national team in supporting roles, acting as commis chefs, and were also awarded medals.
It was a fantastic experience. We learned lots of new techniques and came away with plenty of ideas to bring back to Wales. We also made lots of new contacts within the hospitality industry, which will be invaluable.
During the Hot Kitchen category, the chefs were given six hours to prepare, cook and serve a three-course meal for 110 diners. The Wales team menu comprised a starter of scallops, ceviche, compressed cucumber, Café de Paris, chicken skin granola seawater and sea herbs. Main course was hay-smoked loin of Welsh Lamb, lamb tagine, almond puree, pearl couscous and apricots. Dessert was white chocolate and lemon mousse with Welsh honey, raspberries, raspberry sorbet and mint.
The renowned international competition - which takes place every four years - saw culinary teams from 75 different nations, across five continents, do battle for medals.
The Culinary World Cup is one of the largest and most important cooking competitions in the world, which sees the teams competing over five days, serving over 1,000 guests each day with their three-course menus.
Danny Burke, captain of Culinary Team Wales, who has been competing in these event for the last 20 years, said:
This was a fantastic opportunity for the students as they start their careers in the industry. All three of them were absolutely spot-on this week, and they are a credit to the college. They were well-mannered, respectful and hard-working; I can't praise them highly enough.
The trio will now start to put together the menu for the closing dinner at the Welsh International Culinary Championships in February. After that, they will start the hard work of preparing for the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2020, where the skills and knowledge they have amassed at college, together with the experience gained working alongside some of the best chefs in the world, will be put to the test.
The college was recently awarded an 'excellent' by Estyn for its Hospitality and Catering provision.
For more information on our courses in Hospitality and Catering, please visit: www.gllm.ac.uk/hospitality
Or call the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.