Education: Double visionary from city of Glasgow

An inspirational chef lecturer is celebrating after scooping the Country Range Student Chef Challenge title for the second year running.

Robbie Phillips, a lecturer in professional cookery at City of Glasgow College, won the prestigious accolade in front of a home crowd.
His talented trio of chefs were Alan Coats, Ance Kristone and Andreau Talla, who wowed the competition judges at the live final, which took place at ScotHot in Glasgow.

None of the team members had featured in the team which scooped the title last year – which is testament to the teaching and nurturing skills of their lecturer. Commenting on the win, Robbie said:

“After winning the title last year and with the finals taking place in our home city, there was a little bit more pressure on myself and the team so I’m absolutely delighted that they have won.

The amount of effort the students put into their menus was incredible so it’s a credit to them as they all gave up their free time to practise alongside their busy college studies and part-time jobs.

The brief this year has been really interesting and challenging for the students, and I’m just so proud of the team that they managed to come out on top. Not only is it fantastic for their future careers in the industry but it also helps reinforce the outstanding reputation the college has for professional cookery.”

Winning team member Alan Coats was overjoyed with his team’s victory in the prestigious competition. He said:

“We’re over the moon to win to the Country Range Student Chef Challenge and help the college retain its crown. Getting through to the semi-final stage was an achievement in itself but to win outright is just brilliant.

The Challenge was a real test of the core cookery skills we learn at college and,combined with the experience of cooking in front of a live exhibition audience, is something I’ll never forget.

We worked very hard on the planning of the menu and practised as much as we could in the lead-up to the final so to triumph at the end is extremely rewarding.”

As well as the coveted title, the City of Glasgow College team win a day’s work experience at a Michelin-starred restaurant and a foodie tour of London, Billingsgate Market where they will be taught fish filleting skills by the resident master fishmonger, plus a personalised PR package.

The Craft Guild of Chefs’ chairman of judges Christopher Basten said City of Glasgow were extremely worthy winners of the title. “A massive congratulations to City of Glasgow College who are definitely deserved winners this year. As we expected from the final there was a fantastic array of skills on show, from traditional and classic cooking methods to newer techniques and ingredients.

“Each team can hold their heads up high at a fantastic job done as cooking a three-course, four-cover menu in front of a live crowd under strict competition standards is no mean feat.”

For full details of the Challenge and criteria, visit www.countryrangestudentchef.co.uk