CAVC's Amy to represent Wales at the Young Chef Olympiad

7 October 2016

Cardiff and Vale College student Amy is off to India to represent Wales at the Young Chef Olympiad 2017

Hospitality student Amy Hoskins is set to jet off to India to represent Wales in a prestigious international competition for young chefs – the International Young Chef Olympiad 2017.

Amy being chosen to represent her country in a world-wide culinary competition comes as the College was awarded Centre of Excellence accreditation for its Hospitality provision, as well as its restaurant The Classroom winning the first AA College Rosette to be awarded in Wales.

Following a competition between five of the College’s Hospitality and Catering students, 21-year-old Amy from Cardiff’s meal was chosen. The learners had to prepare a fish course, a chicken course and a bavaroi dessert – coming up with their own dishes based on a basket of ingredients to choose from.

Her meal was chosen by a judging panel including Celtic Manor Culinary Director Peter Fuchs, manager of Culinary Team Wales. Amy’s trip to India will be sponsored by the Cardiff Hoteliers’ Association.

“I can’t quite believe I’m actually going to go to India to take part in this competition,” Amy said. “I never thought it was going to be me – it’s an amazing opportunity and I am really looking forward to it. I hope I do my country proud!”

CAVC Deputy Head of Catering, Hospitality and Food Manufacturing Eric Couturier said: “This represents a life-changing opportunity for Amy. For her to be able to demonstrate her skills, creativity and flair among some of the best young chefs from all over the world will be a fantastic experience for her – we all are very proud of Amy and wish her the very best of luck in this competition.”

Margaret Waters, General Manager of the Park Plaza and Chair of the Cardiff Hoteliers’ Association, said: “Cardiff Hoteliers’ Association are delighted to have the opportunity to sponsor this really prestigious competition. As an association we are very dedicated to encouraging young talented people into our industry and we feel that this international cookery competition is a fantastic chance for one of young student chefs to represent Wales and have the experience of a lifetime.

“We know it will be an invaluable opportunity to boost the career aspirations of the young person involved. Further, we believe opportunities such as this will go a long way to attract other young people into a career in catering and in the long term help Cardiff and Vale College to establish the pipeline of talent in chefs that is so desperately needed at present.”

The sponsorship marks a further element of the valued engagement CAVC has with the Cardiff Hoteliers’ Association in order to ensure the College shapes its Hospitality provision for the hospitality sector to meet industry needs. The Association sits on CAVC’s Catering, Tourism and Hospitality Employer Board, and they have provided feedback on CAVC’s training for the hospitality sector as well as the introduction of new initiatives such as the ATA Shared Apprenticeship programme.

CAVC's work with the Cardiff Hoteliers' Association is one example of the collaboration with employers that saw the College being given a Gold rated Centre of Excellence in Hospitality Provision accreditation by hospitality, tourism, travel and retail consultancy People 1st.

People 1st Centre of Excellence accreditation recognises colleges and providers that deliver excellent full-time or classroom based hospitality training and qualifications. It also highlights colleges and training providers that work well with employers, collaborating with them to shape the curriculum to meet industry needs while developing partnerships that create beneficial opportunities for students.

The panel of judges, made up of representatives from the industry, were impressed by The Classroom’s “focus on the real, not just the realistic” and use of employer panels to influence course development. The panel also commended the College for well-resourced and modern kitchen facilities that are “comparable to a high end hotel”, the viewing bakery and kitchen and the enthusiasm, skills and knowledge and entrepreneurial zeal of staff.

The Classroom restaurant was also visited by an AA Rosette Judging Panel 

to speak with the learners about the information, support and guidance they receive from the College. The judges then went on a tour of The Classroom and its facilities and saw examples of student activity from sugar work in the College bakery to the front of house learners perfectly folded napkins.

After meeting with the restaurant’s employees, from the students who work in The Classroom to the staff members who function as employees of the restaurant as a business, the judges finally inspected the dining experience itself. The Classroom was rated on service, cuisine, hospitality and venue.

The judges then awarded The Classroom an AA Rosette Level 1 Award. AA Rosettes are awarded to restaurants that serve food prepared with care, understanding and skill, and achieve standards that stand out in the local area. 

Now in its third year, the International Young Chef Olympiad sees the best upcoming culinary talent from across the world compete in a range of cooking tasks. The 2016 Olympiad was based across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata and saw young chefs from 11 countries compete in the final for the trophy and prize money of $10,000.