Culinary champs are Toque of the town

Published on 11/02/2020 by DTHACK

Blackpool and The Fylde College student chefs are creating a stir after winning through to the national heats of a prestigious competition.

Elisa Whitehead and Will Clegg, both on B&FC’s Level 3 Professional Cookery course, wowed Nestlé Toque d’Or (Golden Hat) judges with their vegan recipes and culinary craftsmanship - captured on video as part of their competition submission.

Elisa worked in hospitality before taking a break to start a family, and starting her studies at B&FC. Her ambition is to become a private chef in the US.

Will has been interested from an early age in all things food and was recommended to the professional cookery course by his teachers at Carr Hill School.

At just 17 years-old, Will is working as a part-time commis chef at Ribby Hall Village alongside his studies.

At their national heats, Will and Elisa will be set a secret challenge. Conquer that, and they'll be up against the creme de la creme of student chefs over five gruelling competition days putting their skills to the ultimate test.

This year's Toque d'Or theme is Sustainable Futures and competitors were urged to deliver dishes that were respectful of the environment and to explain their philosophies on changing the way we view food to support a changing world.

Elisa's dish was marinated and spiced heritage carrots with a baba ganoush (smoky aubergine dip) and roasted garlic hummus, decorated with coriander oil and toasted pine nuts.

Will prepared sous vide beetroot with celeriac, potato and thyme rostis, complemented by cumin-spiced roasted cauliflower, edamame beans, and yellow carrot puree.

Both contestants commented on the healthiness of their dishes, boosting the immune system and lowering cholesterol.

Elisa said: "As a chef I would like to change people's outlook on food, encouraging them to eat sustainably through more plant-based dishes which reduces the damage we're doing to our environment and lowers the demand for meat."

Will said: "A sustainable future means cutting back on farming animals like cows for their meat and produce. It's essential to start now for future generations.

"Toque d'Or is an amazing competition and it would really kickstart my career as an aspiring chef."

Shown above: The delicious dish that got Elisa Whitehead through to the national heats of Nestlé's Toque d’Or 2020.

Will Clegg and Elisa Whitehead are through to the national heats of Nestlé's Toque d’Or competition.
Will Clegg and Elisa Whitehead are through to the national heats of Nestlé's Toque d’Or competition.