Sosa Ingredients and Valrhona Selection UK: Sponsor of the Student Pastry Chef of the Year 2024


Sponsored by Sosa Ingredients and Valrhona Selection UK, the 4th edition of the Student Pastry Chef of the Year 2024 was celebrated on last Tuesday 14th May at West London College, where Cecille Youngs from West Suffolk College, was crowned the winner. Cecille presented Coconut, passion fruit, mango, white chocolate & lime entremets and a rhubarb and pistachio mono dessert that beat the other participants, with Penelope Garside of York Collage in second place and Jazmin Williams of NPTC Group in third.

These were the finalists of the competition:

  • Cecille Youngs – West Suffolk College
  • Penélope Garside – York College
  • Jazmin Williams – NPTC Group
  • Khushboo Phore – London South Bank University
  • Matthew Oldknow – Leicester College
  • Tay Simpson Rogers – Coleg Y Cymoedd
  • Serah Morgan-Page – NPTC Group
  • Tiana Brough – Leicester College

The Event

The Student Pastry Chef of the Year is an annual culinary competition that highlights the best student pastry chefs who demonstrate their skills and creativity in preparing innovative desserts. This competition provides a platform for young talent to showcase their skills and gain recognition in the pastry industry.

This year, te main theme was based on grab n go with the students asked to present 12 identical mono portions of their chosen dessert plus 2 entremets. Head judge Franciane Tartari explained that grab n go is an important part of pastry kitchens these days and it was important for students to work with the concept. For the final Chefs’ Forum designer Lee Yarlett created a special box for the students to display their entries.

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum and organiser of the competition said: “This was the 4th student pastry chef competition and it was the best so far. The turnout was terrific and the quality of chefs competing for the prize was incredible. As part of the prize Cecille will be going to France, During this exclusive excursion, the winner will have the privilege of exploring Andros Chef’s experimental orchard, state-of-the-art factory, and the exquisite pastry training area known as “L’Atelier du fruit et du vegetal” and also won a Heinzelmann Chef-X from S.O.S Catering”.

Alongside the competition was a lively trade show event where competition sponsors introduced themselves to invited guests. A special lunch of Aussie Beef & Lamb on the BBQ and lobster and crab from Royal Greenland kept everyone happy. Students from West London College prepared and served the lunch alongside tutors.

A Relentless Jury

The jury of the 4th Student Pastry Chef of the Year Competition consisted of 14 members and was led by Franciane Tartari, international pastry judge. They had much to deliberate to find a winner with the field exceptionally strong this year.

Franciane said: “From close to one hundred entries we slowly got down to the final eight and they all showed great promise in the final. What we asked was not easy but every single one of the finalists rose to the occasion. In the end Cecile was the clear winner and we all wish her the very best.”

These are the 14 members of the jury:

  • Franciane Tartari (Head judge) – Executive Pastry Chef at 1 Hotel Mayfair
  • Michael Kwan – Executive Pastry Chef at The Dorchester and UK Pastry Team
  • Biju Joshwa – Executive Pastry Chef at Sheraton Grand Park Lane
  • Mauro Di Lieto – Executive Pastry Chef at The Landmark London & Bake Off: The Professionals Winner 2023
  • Enrico Carloni – Head Pastry Chef at The Peninsula
  • Daniel Pearse – Executive Pastry Chef at Rhubarb
  • Michael D’Angelo – Executive Pastry Chef at The Roof Gardens
  • Bobby Singer – Executive Pastry Chef at Duck & Waffle and SushiSamba
  • Nelson Sa – Executive Pastry Chef at Brown’s Hotel
  • Thibault Hauchard – Executive Pastry Chef at Claridge’s
  • Cherish Finden – International Pastry Consultant /Bake Off: The Professionals Judge
  • Benoit Blin – Executive Pastry Chef at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons/Bake Off: The Professionals Judge
  • Ross Sneddon – Executive Pastry Chef at The Balmoral, Edinburgh
  • Mohan Boddula – Group Executive Pastry Chef at Sexy Fish

Finally, we invite you to watch the video that shows a recapitulation of what was experienced at the event a few weeks ago.

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