Record number enter Nestlé Professional 2021 Toque d’Or competition

Nestlé Professional has announced the shortlist of rising industry talent set to compete in the heats of the 2021 Toque d’Or competition. Despite the current climate, this year saw a record-breaking 956 entries from 40 individual colleges and 40 businesses looking to take part in the competition.

This year’s Heats will welcome 112 students, apprentices, and young professionals from a wide range of colleges and employers across the country. Each candidate, lecturer and employer will receive an email from Nestlé Professional to indicate whether they have been successful.

Katya Simmons, Managing Director of Nestlé Professional UK&I, said, “In what has been a challenging year for hospitality, I am delighted with the standard of entries we have received.”

“The passion and dedication of each competitor is a credit to our industry, and I am excited to welcome them to the heats. We are proud to support the next generation and provide them with the opportunity to learn and grow in their career. Good luck to all of the 2021 competitors.”

The tasks for the heats have also been announced today. For Back of House, recently crowned winner of MasterChef: The Professionals, The Festive Knockout Louisa Ellis has challenged competitors to create their own vegetarian sauce to accompany her gnocchi dish and demonstrate why it is vegetarian, nutritional, and sustainable. Front of House competitors will need to create a non-alcoholic, mixed drink based on a high-quality Jasmine Green Tea.

Educator and drinks expert Alison Taffs will be looking for competitors to consider the nutritional content in their drinks by keeping sugar levels to a minimum. With the increasing importance of the role of digital in the industry, all competitors will be asked to bring their dishes and drinks to life via a digital challenge. This will consist of creating a video, a series of stories and a post to present and promote their creations.

All competitors will partake in a virtual cooking / drinks challenge on 15th April. Once complete, they will package their dishes / drinks for distribution through OLIO, the online platform that connects neighbours and businesses with each other to reduce food waste. Finalists will be announced on 30 April 2021.