Seeking high flying college students and apprentices in hospitality: Nestlé Professional has opened registrations for Toque d’Or®. Attracting more fresh talent than ever, the 2022 competition is open to all Level 2 and 3 students and apprentices. But with only a few months to go, college lecturers, employers and apprentices are urged to register before the 4th February 2022 deadline.
All entrants will develop practical activity skills at their college or workplace during the first phase. As the competition progresses, they’ll learn valuable industry-led skills through a blend of face-to-face and virtual challenges. Following the Grand Finals – two Front of House and two Back of House winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony and invited on the Toque d’Or 2022 winners’ trip. This includes a gastronomic weekend in Dubai and attend the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2022 in Abu Dhabi. In the meantime, they’ll join foodie superstars including Anton Mosimann and Julie Jones in the Toque d’Or® esteemed hall of fame.
Nestlé Professional’s Toque d’Or® is unique in its focus on both Back and Front of House staff. Providing up-to-the-minute industry expertise and experience, entrants develop practical skills in areas such as social media promotion, business management and sustainable food and drink. Through applying this in a series of challenges, they also gain valuable hands-on experience and the opportunity to work with and learn from leading industry experts and businesses judging the tasks.
Since its introduction in 1989, the competition has evolved to meet the changing needs of the foodservice and education industry. Last year, it was delivered using a hybrid model where competitors learned and carried out challenges virtually from their own homes, and finalists came to HQ to meet and present to the judging panel. Alongside, competitors learned skills to help them thrive in the hospitality industry’s ‘new normal’ including social media promotion and setting up a business from home.
This year, the competition has brought forward its timeline and will retain this successful format. Colleges or employers with a winning student or apprentice will receive prizes for their involvement. And to make the competition accessible to as many students as possible, Nestlé Professional will fund all competition-related activities – including challenge ingredients, travel and accommodation costs.
The Sustainable Futures theme will be reflected across each challenge, covering elements such as nutrition, health, food waste and seasonality. And as part of its well-respected panel of judges, it will welcome back Masterchef The Professionals: A Festive Knockout winner, Louisa Ellis, alongside well-respected sommelier and wine expert, Raul Diaz, and 2021 Winners: Kenny Markham (BOH Apprentice) and Sophie Taylor (FOH Student).
Katya Simmons, managing director Nestlé Professional UK&I said:
“Toque d’Or® is a such a great initiative to play a part in – one of the highlights of our year! The calibre of students and apprentices we see is truly inspiring, testimony to the college lecturers and employers who put them forward.
“As well as raising aspirations for competitors – showing them what they are capable of – we’re passionate about helping them become ‘industry ready’ with the latest skills and learning. After all, they will be the future drivers of the industry. Fortunately, given our deep industry experience, we’re able to provide insight on consumer trends like sustainability and plant-based diets, as well as up-to-the-minute training on approaches like social media promotion.
“Everyone loved the format of last year’s competition. Despite the pandemic, we retained the competition’s trademark excitement and community through a mix of virtual and face-to-face learning and challenges. As a result, we’re using many of the same techniques this year. Even better, we can encourage more entrants to get involved and take advantage of the training on offer”.
Toque d’Or® is open to all Open to Back and Front of House students or apprentices on *Level 2 or 3. Lecturers must register students that meet these criteria. Employers can register apprentices, or apprentices can register for the competition themselves.
To register and find out more about the competition training, format and timeline, college lecturers, employers and apprentices must go to www.nestleprofessional.co.uk/toque-dor
 *Levels 2 and 3 or equivalent national, e.g: levels 5 and 6 in Scotland