Top Birmingham Chef joins the Search for Birmingham’s Next Young Culinary Star


Secondary school students from across Birmingham and the surrounding region have been invited to don their chef whites and put their culinary skills to the test for Busy Bees Training Academys ‘Greens to GourmetCookery Challenge 2016.
Building on the success of last years inaugural competition, which was won by 14 year-old Tre Whitelock from Wheelers Lane Technology College in Kings Heath, Busy Bees Training Academy will be encouraging Year 9 and Year 10 students from across Birmingham and the West Midlands to pursue their passion for cooking.
Award winning Chef Director, Luke Tipping, from Birminghams top Michelin-star restaurant, Simpsons, will be supporting the campaign, forming part of the judging panel and offering expert tips and advice for the entrants. As an advocate of the Love Food, Hate Wastecampaign, the ingredients available to the students, as suggested by Luke, will be some of the best seasonal produce from the UK.
The winning young chef will be awarded with the unique opportunity to spend a morning at the Simpsons Cookery School, along with a family member, for a personal mentoring session with Luke, as well as a family meal for four at Simpsons.*
Taking about his involvement in the Greens to Gourmetcompetition, Luke said:
“Im delighted to be supporting Busy Bees Training Academys Greens to Gourmet cookery competition again this year and helping to inspire talented young cooks in Birmingham to pursue a career in the kitchen.
The competition will encourage Year 9 and 10 Food Technology students in Birmingham to make a dish from a selection of fresh seasonal ingredients. My advice to all those taking part? Keep it simple and try not to waste too much food.
This is a great opportunity to get those creative minds out of the class room and show us their skills in the kitchen. Wed like to see all Birmingham schools taking part so download the Greens to Gourmet school pack and lets get cooking!
Other members of the judging panel will include judges, Colin Diamond, Interim Executive Director of Education at Birmingham Council, Paul Fulford, Birmingham Restaurant Critic, and last years winner, Tre Whitelock.
Tre gives us his thoughts on how the competition helped him realise his career aspirations;
“Taking part in the Greens to Gourmet competition made me believe in myself in a way that I hadn’t before; it inspired me to pursue my passion for cooking and meeting Luke really made me see what it takes to be a great chef. Winning the final was the best thing to happen to me all year - it meant so much to me. I can’t wait to be involved again this year and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the finalists have in store!”
Going on to talk about his plans for the future, Tre said;
“Cooking is my absolute passion but I never really considered it as a career before I entered the competition. I’m predicted to get an A at the end of this year in my Food Technology GCSE and hope to enrol onto a three year course at University College Birmingham to study catering, with an additional year to learn about business in the hospitality industry. Once I have completed that, I would like to work in several establishments with different styles of cooking to really expand my knowledge and skills.”
Following an internal heat within each school, the finalists will be announced on the 19th September 2016, coinciding with the start of British Food Fortnight. Busy Bees Training will then visit the finalists at each school to offer their final top tips and advice. The final will be held at Harborne Food School on 12th October 2016.
 Training Manager at Busy Bees Training Academy, Fay Gibbin, said:
 We are really looking forward to building on the success of last years competition and would like to thank Luke and the team at Simpsons for their involvement so far, as well as the other members of the judging panel and Harborne Food School for providing a fantastic venue for the final. The raw talent demonstrated by the entrants last year was truly remarkable and we cant wait to see the level of creativity that the entrants bring to the competition this year.
Busy Bees Training Academy currently offers catering apprenticeships throughout our nurseries, as well as within external independent settings, so we know the level of creativity and passion young people can bring to the industry. We are hoping that Greens to Gourmet will encourage Food Technology students to pursue their passion for cooking, and offer them the chance to take part in a fun and creative activity that provides them with an exciting learning experience beyond the classroom.
Participating schools will be provided with a pack to help them promote the competition to students, including; last years winners story, Tre Whitelock, a poster, a template letter for parents and top tips on creating a winning dish from Luke Tipping. All are available to download from the Busy Bees Training Academys website www.busybeestraining.co.uk/greens-to-gourmet-competition-2016.
Schools wishing to take part in the competition can contact Claire Kniveton on claire.kniveton@BusyBees.com or call 01543 711 131 by Monday 30th May.
*T+Cs apply

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