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The Corporation

Posted: 30/04/10

From field to fork with winning West Notts College

Forget green peppers and red tomatoes - a team of students from West Nottinghamshire College were thrown in at the deep end with a cooking assault course that would turn the temperature up on even the likes of Gordon Ramsay.

Students were victorious in a ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’-style Army catering challenge; beating off competition from five other East Midlands colleges when they put their culinary know-how to the test at the Army Careers Exhibition (ACE) on Tuesday 27 April.  

The team of ten students created and cooked a three-course meal, from ingredients provided including lamb’s kidneys, Scottish salmon, pastry, cabbage, cous cous, potatoes, kiwi fruit and red and white wine - all cooked in a military field kitchen, similar to those used on army operations.  

Army careers advisor, Major Peter Pain, has been organising the ACE competition for the last four years. He said: “The West Notts College team worked incredibly well together with the aim of producing the best menu from the limited ingredients provided. The food had to be properly cooked and ready for eating after 50 minutes to complete the challenge. 

“It’s a great fun way to offer catering students a chance to use their skills to create dishes in a different environment.  This year combining it with the ACE, we’ve also been able to offer more opportunities to learn about other aspects of Army life.”

Willem Loeve, tutor at West Notts College, said: “The catering challenge was a fantastic opportunity for students to experience working in an Army kitchen under pressure, as well as learning how to work together as a team and developing life skills.

"A catering career in the Army offers something more than just working in an industrial kitchen, it offers the opportunity to see the world and work in all kinds of new places.

“As well as the catering challenge, this year’s ACE has given students an insight into solider life and what they can expect from a career in the Army.”