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Competition success for college staff and students

News overview

Suffolk New College celebrated an award-winning week thanks to student and staff successes in regional and national skills competitions.

First up, three catering and hospitality learners came out on top when they saw off competition from five other educational establishments in the annual ‘A Passion to Inspire’ culinary contest.

Murray Chapman with SNC staff and learners

This was the first time that the College had won this competition in 13 years but Nathan Morton, 18, from Ipswich who is on a level three professional cookery course, is hoping this will be the start of continued success.

Nathan said: “The competition was held at Colchester Institute and we had to cook and serve a three course meal for judges. We were happy with how we performed. I didn’t know what to do when we were announced as winners. It was nice to bring the trophy back to Ipswich and hopefully we can keep it here next year. It was good to challenge ourselves and put ourselves under pressure. In the future, the goal for me is to go on Masterchef.”

Holly Hawkins, 18, from Ipswich was also part of the team. Holly said “Winning is a big deal for us and its fired me up to be a big success in this industry.”

As a result of winning, the group won a four-day trip to Lyon and they will also get to go to the Skills for Chefs competition in Sheffield later this year where a separate group of Suffolk New College students will be taking part in a Restaurant Team of the Year competition.

Daniel Russell-Poole is lecturer at Suffolk New College. Daniel said: “I’d like to thank my colleague Chris Martin, Adam Spicer from The Greyhound in Pettistree as well as Dave Wall and Jackie Ha from The Unruly Pig who helped mentor the team. They worked so hard (as a team) and I’m immensely proud of them.”

In addition to this success, Daniel himself was named as a contender for chef of the year at the annual EADT food and drink awards, narrowly missing out on top honours.

Daniel Russell-Poole in Chefs whites restaurant

And Jane Thorp, an apprentice from Leiston won a spot in the national Sparks finals earlier this year by beating all comers at the regional heat of this skills competition for electricians.

Jane Thorp with Tutuor Ged Healy

Last year Jane won the female only category of this contest. This year, Jane travelled to Birmingham for the finals and was crowned runner up an event that contained male and female competitors.

This was the highest placed finish of any female in the competition’s history.

Posted 3 May 2024