Apprentice Chloe Gardner

Apprentice Cooks Up a Storm in Catering Competition

Professional Cookery Apprentice Chloe Gardner has turned up the heat and secured her place in an up-coming catering competition. The contest is being held to create a summer dish for the menus of the QHotels group. Open to all chefs working for the group, it is designed to encourage their catering team to develop their skill sets and to provide them with the opportunity to help shape the menus available to customers.

Chloe joined her Level 3 apprenticeship with Stratford-upon-Avon College in November 2015 and is employed as a Commis Chef at Stratford Manor. As part of her intense application to the competition, she was questioned over her choice of dish and proposed method of preparation. Her mouth-watering entry incorporates grilled Mackerel Fillet, with smoked paprika courgette and parmentier potato, accompanied by a white bean and rocket salad and chilli and lime salsa.

On Thursday 25 February, Chloe took part in the first heat at Norton Park in Winchester, a timed cook off in which she competed against Chefs de Partie and Sous Chefs, from which she emerged victorious. We hope the win didn’t grate on the nerves of the other chefs.

Bubbling over with excitement, Chloe said, “Becoming a cookery apprentice was the best thing I ever did. I love working as a chef and dreaming up interesting menus. I can’t wait for the final to show off my dish and I hope I do Stratford Manor and the College proud.”

Bryan Anderson, Catering and Hospitality Team Leader at Stratford-upon-Avon College, said, “I’m delighted for Chloe. She is an extremely talented and inventive young chef, eager to learn and is constantly improving her skills.  She thoroughly deserves her place in the finals and we all wish her the very best of luck. Whatever the outcome, I know she will go on to make a name for herself as a successful chef.”

After the high-pressure first round, hopefully Chloe isn’t burnt out. She now has until Tuesday 29 March to put the finishing touches to her culinary creation and perfect the preparation before the finals held at Crewe Hall, in Cheshire.

The winning dish will feature on all menus throughout the QHotels group this summer and will return during future summers too. Look out for it from Monday 11 April.

Good luck Chloe!