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College restaurant team one step away from being crowned ‘Young Restaurant Team of the Year’

News overview

The team from Suffolk New College have qualified for a prestigious national competition for the first time in their history.

Team photo of Davide, Ella, and Phoebe

The group have so far taken part in two rounds of a contest called the UK Young Restaurant Team of the Year.

Having impressed judges in both of these early rounds, they have now qualified for the finals where they will get to test their skills against five other teams at an event held at the Skills for Chefs Conference in Sheffield on 26 June 2024.

Made up of two chefs and a front of house expert, the trio are hoping for glory ahead the biggest challenges of their careers to date.

Davide in the college kitchens

Two of the team (Davide Oggero and Phoebe Chew) got knocked out at the semi-final stage last year and they are hoping to be able to draw on their experiences and the skills of their new team member (Ella Amos).

Phoebe, 17, from Chelmodiston is on a level three patisserie course, works at Suffolk Food Hall and wants to open her own bakery in the future. She said: “We learnt lots from last time and to get through to the finals is a big achievement.”

Phoebe preparing food in the kitchen

Ella, 17, from Nacton works for A Listers at Aurora. Ella said: “The last round (held in Woking) was nerve wracking and I thought we weren’t going to get through – but we did and I am proud of our efforts.

Ella Amos preparing glasses for evening service

“I’m a first year on my course and my first time in the competition. I didn’t want to let anyone down. I think now we have got a good chance. We worked well as a team and it would mean so much to win.”

Davide, 18, from Ipswich works for The Greyhound in Pettistree and hopes to own a restaurant one day. In terms of the competition he said: “We are confident ahead of the finals.”

Chef lecturer from Suffolk New College Chris Martin is hoping the team make the most of their adventure of a lifetime. Chris said: “They have already made history in terms of our college by getting this far. I truly believe they can win this and we will be giving them loads of support in the run up to the finals.”

The winning team will receive a trip to France as well as dinner at The Savoy Hotel in London.

To support their bid to win, two of the team (Davide and Phoebe) gained work experience at Gordon Ramsey’s Petrus last year.

Posted 9 April 2024