Initially developed to create stronger links between education and industry, A Passion to Inspire is a charity that works with colleges, farms and top chefs to inspire, encourage and support students in their chosen careers.

This year’s finalists included; City college Norwich, West Suffolk, Suffolk New, Cambridge Regional, NCC Hackney, and Colchester Institute.

A huge congratulations to Sophia Bearman, Stephanie Etherington and Jess Hornsby from Colchester Institute who were victorious in this year’s final!

Colchester Institute’s Winning Menu

To Start
Baron Bigod, pea & asparagus tart, pea & truffle purée Barons Lane rosé 2021, New Hall Wine Estate, Essex

To Follow
Roasted rack of Dingley Dell pork, pommes Anna, roasted baby vegetables, black pudding stuffing, sauce Robert ‘El Compadre’ Pinot Noir 2019, Vallede Malleco, Viña Echeverria

To Finish
Passion scented spheres, shortbread crumb, compressed mango Verbena Spritz cocktail

Stephanie Conway, Patisserie Teacher and Lecturer of Colchester Institute’s team, commented on the event. “ I would like to personally thank everyone involved for the competition I understand it is always much easier when things have gone well.

It was lovely to hear such supportive feedback for all the students from the judges and mentors. There was a lovely atmosphere at the competition this made the students from all the colleges support one another so well . A student from Norwich City college told me “ She loved the whole experience”

The support of the sponsors this year was outstanding from the lovely whites to the products and goody bags given to all the students.

The hosts Norwich City college were absolutely fantastic, the staff students were all so welcoming and supportive.
Thank you all so much for all your hard work throughout the whole experience.”

A Passion to Inspire 2023 Awards and Prizes

Overall Winners prizes:
Grande Cuisine Academy – 4 places to the winning team will be going on a very special trip to Lyon and a Culinary adventure through the valleys.

Skills for Chefs 2023 and they will meet Culinary Legend Marco Pierre White and other Great Chefs Sally Abe, Henrique sá Pessoa, Andrew Gravett, and Luke French.

Chefii- Knife rolls – from Jazz

Mark Poynton’s Great Culinary Journey with His New Great Cookbook.

Special Gifts for all the Finalists:

Great Support – A Passion to Inspire Chef Jackets and aprons from Richard at Russums and from Paul at Ponthier Special cocktail shakers and recipe booklets for all the FOH finalists and for the Chefs and Spatula’s and scrapers for the Chefs With Special Goodie Bags from Ice with special presents for all Dishoom and So Good Magazine.

Great Prizes for all involved:

  1. Best team – Adnams – Lunch for 4 at The Swan Southwold and a Brewery Tour Winner Suffolk New College
  2. Best Cocktail – cocktail masterclass with us at The Wine Cellar BSE – Cambridge Regional College
  3. Wastage – Accommodation and dinner at Titchwell Manor – City College Norwich
  4. Best service – A Fantastic day at Infusions ICE Experience – New City College Hackney
  5. Best wine matches -Wine Tasting Experience with Hallgarten and Novum Wines – West Suffolk College
  6. Best use of Pork – College farm visit to Dingley Dell Pork Farm – Suffolk New College

Proud Sponsors of the 2023 A Passion to Inspire Competition

Congratulations to Colchester Institute, Suffolk New College, Cambridge Regional College, West Suffolk College, City College Norwich, New City College Hackney for reaching the grand final. To reach the final – 6 Heats – 37 teams – 111 Students and lots of Great Lecturers – Mentors – Chefs and Employers.

The competition was sponsored and supported by Russums, Ponthier, True Foods Stocks , The Wine Cellar BSE ,Hallgarten & Novum Wines. Grande Cuisine Academy, Dingley Dell , Anglia Produce, Direct Meats, Adnams, Skills for Chefs , The Craft Guild of Chefs, H and C News , Cheffi , Koppert Cress , Titchwell Manor , First Contact Chefs ,Caistor Hall, Infusions Group , Fen Farm – Baron Bigod , Novo Farina.

The judges for the 2023 competition were Mark Poynton, Bradley Dorrington , Nick Mills , Greg Anderson, Eric Snaith, Buzz , Nick Claxton Webb and Ed Keith. Judge Mark Poynton commented “ So very proud to be part of a magnificent line up of talented young people – The Aptitude and attitude of the all the finalists was simply amazing – their work ethic and teamwork stunning – it was a hard day judging- my taste buds had a fantastic day – and all the skills on show in the kitchen and Service were wonderful – and as Murray said he was so happy not to be a judge –we want to support all Students – simply Magic – so proud of them – and going forward I cannot wait until our next culinary Adventure- 13th June with Chef Cyrus and Chef Cherish Finden. “

Bradley Dorrington also commented “This years competitors raised the bar higher than ever. Specifically Front of House – the students knowledge and skills were exemplary. 2023 showed great cooking ability across the board and I for one was so pleased to see what the future of our industry looks like. All the competitors and colleges should be incredibly proud of what they achieved at the Final. Having a number of Level 1 and 2 students compete as well is fantastic and I hope to see them back next year!”