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18th March 2022

Competition hots up as Toque d’Or announces finalists for the Heats

Written by: Edward Waddell
Thirty-eight of the UK’s most promising college students and apprentices in hospitality have been shortlisted for the Heats in Nestlé Professional’s Toque d’Or.

Whittled down from more than 400 entrants from across the UK, competitors have already completed rigorous selection and qualification challenges. And with the shortlist announced by Toque d’Or judges, finalists are revving up for the Heats at Nestlé HQ at the end of this month.

Over the week starting 7th February, hospitality hopefuls took to the kitchens to complete Toque d’Or’s selection challenge. Back of house (BOH) entrants were tasked with preparing and cooking a chicken ballotine, and Front of House (FOH) entrants created a coffee drink and country-themed table arrangement. By the Friday, lecturers and employers had graded their cohort, submitting the top three to competition judges.

The following week, shortlisted entrants submitted an online examination on Sustainable Diets and 30-second video on their passion for hospitality. The Toque d’Or judges selected the 38 finalists that will compete in the Heats taking place at Nestlé HQ between 28th March and 1st April.

Toque d’Or 2021 winners Kenny Markham and Sophie Taylor will be helping award-winning chef and Toque d’Or judge, Louisa Ellis and well-respected sommelier and wine expert, Raul Diaz judge the Heats.

Katya Simmons, managing director Nestlé Professional UK&I said: “The response we’ve received for this year’s Toque d’Or has been outstanding. This year, we adapted the competition so that more budding hospitality stars could take part. And we’ve already been blown away by the calibre of students and apprentices put forward by college lecturers and employers.

“The thirty-eight shortlisted finalists were particularly impressive during the first two phases. And we’re looking forward to meeting them in person here at Nestlé HQ where we can try their local and seasonally focused creations. This is where they really get the chance to show us what they’re made of!”