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College students taste success at NECTA competition

Newcastle College was named the best culinary college in the region at this year’s North East Culinary Trade Association (NECTA) Competition.

The team came out on top in each team category and placed first in the food service round before being named Culinary Team of the Year and College of the Year, while curriculum leader of hospitality and tourism Phil Pringle claimed the title of North East Chef of the Year.

He gained his title for his menu of spiced sautéed scallops, trio of pork and petit Antoine.

Students also placed in the top three for each of the individual live classes, taking home 12 gold medals and Level 2 Patisserie and Confectionery student Megan Armstrong given the gold for best student.

NECTA is an independent association of north east catering professionals with the aim of raising the profile and quality of the food trade in the region. It works closely with restaurants, employers and catering colleges to provide skills and opportunities to students and chefs.

Its inter-college hospitality salon was held at Gateshead’s Hilton hotel in May and saw Newcastle College go up against five other colleges from across the north east and Yorkshire across 10 categories.

Craig Cowan, head of curriculum for hospitality and tourism at Newcastle College said: “NECTA is a fantastic opportunity for the college to showcase the talent of both its staff and its students and we look forward to the event every year. It’s a unique chance for our students to showcase themselves to industry and potential employers from the North East and beyond.

“They definitely rose to the challenge this year and made the most of the opportunity. The results speak for themselves, I’m really proud of them.”

Pringle added: “To be named North East Chef of 2018 is an amazing feeling, especially when I was up against so many great competitors like Peace and Loaf. I’m so passionate about what I do and my aim is to pass that passion to our students and show them what they can achieve, so I hope that my win on top of their own successes in the competition has inspired them.”

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