Brighton culinary student flies to India for global chef competition

A Brighton student has flown to India and will use her culinary skills to compete in a global competition.

Culinary student Beth Collings
Culinary student Beth Collings

College student Beth Collings is hoping to be crowned the world’s top young chef; she flew to Delhi to represent England in the 6th annual Young Chef Olympiad.

The Brighton resident, a third-year chef student at Westminster Kingsway College School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, will be competing against chefs from 59 other countries.

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Young chefs will compete in a series of challenging, timed cook-offs and only ten competitors will qualify for the final in the east Indian city of Kolkata on Sunday, February 2.

Beth is in the final year of her Professional Chef Diploma and has been preparing for the Olympiad since November last year.

She must pass two rounds of culinary challenges to reach the final with the first round beginning tomorrow (January 29).

“I’ve worked hard for this and now that the Olympiad is nearly here, I can’t wait for it to start,” she said.

“I have been given a list of ingredients for the first round, from which I have to select at least half to create a dish of my choice.

“The competition gets progressively harder, because in the second round I’ll have to cook two courses.”

Lecturer Chris Basten has helped Beth to prepare for the challenge, he said: “I’m immensely proud of Beth for all her hard work and dedication, as well as her skill as a chef.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for Beth to be representing not just the college, but her country in this international competition and I hope she does really well and enjoys the experience.”

Although she has never visited India, Beth is on a tight schedule and may not have much time for sightseeing.

“Whatever happens, I’m really going to enjoy the experience. I’m a bit nervous but excited too!” she said.

A large international judging team will choose the finalists, they include hospitality educator Professor David Foskett MBE, Anton Edelmann, who was maître chef de cuisines at The Savoy for over 20 years, and top UK chefs Brian Turner and Chris Galvin.

Hospitality and culinary arts programme manager at Westminster Kingsway College, Paul Jervis, is also part of the panel.

Paul said: “We are all very proud of Beth for being selected for the Olympiad and everyone at Westminster Kingsway wishes her the very best of luck.”