College’s catering students crowned champs

Back row: Catherine Brown, Shawn Carr, Dawn Carr, Melanie Joisce, Kerry Hall. Front: Natasha Drummond, David Jackson, Dean Tatum.
Back row: Catherine Brown, Shawn Carr, Dawn Carr, Melanie Joisce, Kerry Hall. Front: Natasha Drummond, David Jackson, Dean Tatum.

Northumberland College students were crowned North East Culinary and Trade Association (NECTA) champions for the first time in the college’s history last month.

They secured five gold, four silver and 12 bronze medals, as well as three trophies, two cups and the overall winners’ plate. The competition took place at Newcastle Racecourse and included a mixture of competitions, live classes, displays and exhibits.

The college entered 18 students into the competition and secured 21 medals overall, placing in every category they entered, including knife skills, sugar craft, vegetarian, chicken preparation, mille feuille and a team competition.

Dawn Carr, 41, from Cramlington, who is studying towards her NVQ Level 3 in professional cookery, won the most medals of the day for the college, securing a gold in the chicken larder heat, which included carving two whole chickens in 30 minutes in two different styles, supreme and sautéed, and then two bronzes for her performance within the team event.

Dawn said: “I am so proud to be part of a fantastic hard-working winning team and thrilled with my three medals. I’ve been preparing for this competition both in classes and at home and have also volunteered in the college’s restaurant, The Gallery, on my days off to gain extra experience to ensure I was competition-ready.”

The students had weeks of training preparing for the competition and their continuous efforts were reflected in their fantastic results.

Course leader, David Jackson, said: “The competition was a great success and we are ecstatic with the results. To do so well is an unbelievable achievement for both the students and the college.”