Apprentice Secures a Nestlé Toque D’or Grand Finals Place

Published: 25th April 2022

A Sheffield College chef apprentice is through to the Nestlé Toque d’Or Grand Finals.

Matthew Mansell, 28, is one of nine finalists in the prestigious national culinary competition and will compete in the back of house apprentice category.

A Commis Chef at The University Arms pub, Matthew works in kitchens across the University of Sheffield to develop a broad range of experience.

At the same time, Matthew is completing a Commis Chef Level 2 Apprenticeship at The Sheffield College’s City Campus on Granville Road.

He spends one day a week at the College studying for his apprenticeship qualification which covers culinary, food safety, people and business skills.

Matthew said: “I am thrilled and very excited but also a little nervous about getting through to the Nestlé Toque d’Or Grand Finals.

Matthew added: “An apprenticeship is something that I have always wanted to do to improve myself and keep learning - especially in a subject I am so passionate about.

I enjoy the many different types of dishes that I am learning. I really enjoy working with my tutor Andy Gabbitas, who has been brilliant. I am also happy with the opportunities I have been given such as participating in the Nestlé Toque d’Or.

My long-term ambition is to have my own business. I would love to be successful in the catering industry and own my own pubs, restaurants and even cafes.

I am so eager to learn and experience as much as possible right now to be the best I can. My advice to others thinking about an apprenticeship is - just do it! There is so much to take from an apprenticeship, it's a great experience.

Andy Gabbitas, Chef Lecturer, Catering and Hospitality, The Sheffield College, said: “We are really proud of Matthew. These industry-led competitions provide valuable hands-on experience for our apprentices and students and support them to develop the skills to go further in their careers."

He continued: “They also get to work with and learn from leading industry experts and businesses judging the tasks.

David McKown MBE, FIH, Head of Training and Quality, Accommodation and Commercial Services, The University of Sheffield, said: "We have had a long relationship with The Sheffield College. The vocational training that the College provides is excellent and we are delighted that Matthew is in the final.

This prestigious hospitality industry competition educates and tests college students and apprentices in both practical, service-based and business-focused tasks.

With a focus on providing up-to-the-minute industry expertise and experience, entrants learn key skills in areas such as social media promotion, business management and sustainable food and drink.

There were 38 competitors who previously took part in the heats and who were narrowed to the nine remaining finalists.

The Grand Finals take place from April 25th to 29th, 2022. The winners will be announced during an awards lunch on April 29th, 2022.

The competition has a sustainable futures theme. The judges include MasterChef: The Professionals, The Festive Knockout winner Louisa Ellis and educator, sommelier and wine expert Raul Diaz.

This year’s winners will be taken to the Worldchefs Congress and Expo 2022 in Abu Dhabi as well as a gastronomic weekend in Dubai.

The Savoy Education Trust will also be providing £1,000 for each of the colleges taking part in the Grand Finals and £2,500 for the winning colleges to be used to purchase equipment from Russums.

For information, visit the Nestlé Professional website. Follow @NestleToquedor #Toquedor2022. Apply now for Apprenticeships starting at The Sheffield College in May.

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