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Jo-Ann proves she's got the recipe for success again!

On 27 November Jo-Ann won the regional heat of the highly competitive Rotary Young Chef Competition for the second year running securing her place in the upcoming District Final.

The competition is open to amateur cooks and chefs and requires entrants to cook a beautifully presented and healthy two course meal for two people for under £20. They are marked on criteria including cost, planning, presentation, correct use of knives, neatness and hygiene and perhaps mostly importantly, taste!

The competition took place in McLeods restaurant at our Medway Campus with Jo-Ann’s menu of chicken roulade, parsnip puree and carrot followed by a dessert of lemon meringue pie impressing judges the most.

Jo-Ann said, “It feels great to have won again – my mum was really happy!  The hardest thing to deal with is the pressure. You need to focus on what you are doing and keep track of time”.

As a student on the Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Cookery, as well as honing her culinary skills in the College’s fully equipped commercial kitchen, Jo-Ann also spends two days per week on work experience at the very popular London café, Kiss the Hippo. Working back of house, she produces beautiful cakes and pastries, helping her to build up the skills she needs to secure her dream job as a pastry chef.

Jo-Ann told us, “I have learnt a lot more about plating from my experience of the last competition and from studying on the Level 3 programme. My College tutors are very supportive and because we do exams and assessments throughout the year, we are constantly developing our time-planning skills and learn to focus completely on the task we are doing.”

Her tutor Tony Hopkin was delighted at her latest success and had this to say, “The competition is tough and entrants really do produce some high-quality food, so to have come out on top again is testament to Jo-Ann’s excellent work ethic and brilliant cookery skills. We aim to ensure our students are ready to enter the world of work when they have completed their programme, and competing in a high pressure environment such as this is great experience of what is to come!”

We wish Jo-Ann all the best for the next round in January and will be keeping our fingers crossed for another win.

Thinking about becoming a chef? Find out more about the Hospitality & Catering programmes at the College today.