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Students cook up a storm at Coleg Gwent

Students cook up a storm at Coleg Gwent

Coleg Gwent recently hosted the local heat of the Springboard FutureChef competition for the third consecutive year at Crosskeys Campus.

Springboard's FutureChef competition helps young people aged 12-16 to learn to cook by inspiring them to explore food and cooking as a life skill. It helps develop culinary talent and offers information about entry routes into the hospitality industry.

The competitors included two students from Rhymney Comprehensive and two from Bishop of Llandaff School. They were given 90 minutes to prepare, cook and serve a hot main course and a hot or cold dessert for two people, with a budget of £7. 

The competition was held at the Crosskeys Campus in the 40-seater Morels restaurant, which was recently awarded a Trip Advisor 'Certificate of Excellence'. Morels offers Coleg Gwent Catering and Hospitality students the opportunity to develop their skills in a commercial environment.

This year the food was judged by Kevin Fairlie, Chef and Coleg Gwent Lecturer and Linda Warwick, Senior Technician. They were supported by Morel’s staff and trainee restaurant manager Ffion Thorne who is studying Catering and Hospitality at Crosskeys Campus, and will be representing the college in Pembroke at the UK Skills heats.

The winner, Ewan Chadwell aged 13 from Bishop of Llandaff School cooked seared salmon with beetroot puree on creamed potatoes and kale with a watercress sauce followed by a chocolate fondant tart. He will be mentored by an industry professional over the next few weeks before going forward to compete in the Wales Final in February.

Mr Fairlie said: “This is was the first time the students had worked in a professional kitchen and they did a fantastic job. They all worked incredibly hard and produced very high quality food. The competition was extremely tight and they should all be very proud of what they achieved.”

Paul Warren from Springboard said: “We would like to thank Coleg Gwent for hosting this fantastic competition. We are looking forward to working with Ewan and his mentor in the next stage of the competition.”

Head of School Helen Lawless said: “I am delighted that Coleg Gwent was once again chosen as the venue for the local FutureChef competition. Morels offers Catering and Hospitality students the chance to develop their skills and gain experience in a working restaurant and kitchen. They are able to get an understanding of what it is like to produce high quality food, under pressure, and to a budget.”

Coleg Gwent offers a variety of Catering and Hospitality courses, including a City and Guilds Diploma Professional Cookery Level 1 and 2, and Entry Level Hospitality and Catering Studies. Morels restaurant is open to the public for lunch, Tuesday to Friday between 12.15pm – 2pm. It is also available for private functions on a Wednesday evenings between 6.30 – 8.30pm.

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