Exeter College student wins competition 5th year in a row

Exeter College news article

Date: Thursday 03 May 2018

The Ray Kenny competition is run every year in memory of a chef who trained at the Dorchester Hotel. After his death in 2007, his family wanted to remember Ray’s passion for inspiring young chefs. The competition is open to 2nd year full time catering students within Further Education Colleges in the South West, the aim of the competition is to widen the horizons of budding chefs in the Westcountry. 

Competitors are asked to produce a three course plated meal with a Westcountry theme for two covers, within two and a half hours. 

This year's winner was our very own Jessika Martin, from Dawlish, who is studying Level 2 Professional Cookery with the Michael Caines Academy. She was delighted to win and is still a little shell shocked! Next year she plans to study Level 3 at the college. The prize includes £2000 and a two week work placement at Lucknam Park.  

The winning menu from Jess was: 

  • Goats cheese and chive tortellini with horseradish sauce, a pine nut and parmesan crisp with spinach and toasted pine nuts (pictured)
  • Pan fried john dory with salsa Verde, asparagus, purple sprouting broccoli and crushed jersey royals.  
  • Roasted white chocolate panna cotta with a white chocolate crumb, meringue with freeze dried raspberries and a sugar twill 

Matthew Pickett, Programme Leader said: 

Like many of our chefs here in the Michael Caines Academy Jessika doesn't realise how talented she is.  Jess practiced so hard for the Ray Kenny Competition and sought advice and critique at every stage of her dish development.  It's this drive and determination, combined with a natural talent for tasty food, that has seen Jess execute a brilliant set of competition dishes on the day.  I know she will embrace her opportunity with the Michelin Star Lucknam Park and come back even better in term 3.  I hope that this win will see Jess believe in herself more and give her the confidence to push on with the fabulous South West Chef of the Year competition later in the year."

This year's judges were Stuart MacKerrell and Elly Wentworth, Sous Chef at Lucknam Park

Last year’s winner, Ellie Thuell went on to win the student category in the South West Chef of the Year. 

If you are interested in studying Hospitality, please take a look at the courses we offer here.  


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