Edinburgh College Cookery Students Turn Up Heat

edinburgh Cookery students

Edinburgh College’s cookery students and staff have been busy icing, flambéing and chocolatiering to prepare for culinary competition at this week’s ScotHot food and drink event.

The college is entering 26 students and staff from its cookery courses into a range of competition categories to show off their skills at Scotland’s biggest hospitality, tourism and catering show, taking place from 4-5 March.

Since the start of the year, they have been practising to make sure their creations meet the exacting standards of the competition judges. This week, they have been putting the final touches to their preparation in the college’s training kitchens at its Milton Road and Granton campuses.

Students and staff are entering categories including Afternoon Tea; Works in Chocolate; Decorated Celebration Cake; Novelty Cake; Sugar Flowers; Bread Display; Works in Pastillage; Chicken for Sauté; Sustainable Fish; and flambé. Their creations include precision-engineered chocolates in flavours such as yuzu and sea buckthorn, chocolate showpieces and elaborately decorated cakes, including Wizard of Oz and art deco-themed constructions.

The competitors will enter battle over the next two days at the biennial ScotHot event at Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. They hope to emulate the achievements of the college’s previous competitors two years ago, who won awards in butchery, flambé and novelty cakes.

Professional cookery lecturer Kellyanne Cockburn, who has been mentoring the professional cookery student entrants at Milton Road Campus, said: “The students have put a massive amount of effort into this and have given up their own time over the last eight weeks including weekends and the February break to practise. It’s been a lot of hard work but they’ve been brilliant and deserve to do really well in the competitions.

“They’ve been using skills they’ve learned in class but pushing them farther than they’ve gone before to create new things. Competitions are really good experience for them and could help them when they’re looking for jobs, especially in areas like pastry where there’s a lot of competition for opportunities.”

Among the students competing are a group of five students from the Hospitality and Tourism Academy, a partnership led by Edinburgh College and Queen Margaret University.

The academy gives S5 and S6 school students from around south east Scotland the chance to learn at college and university, giving them theory and practical work experience, as well as a head start for further studies or the workplace. The academy students will compete in the flambé category, and are the first group from the academy to compete at ScotHot.

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