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Cooking up a storm

Birmingham schools take part in Busy Bees' cooking challenge with guest judge Luke Tipping from Michelin-starred restaurant

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 04, 2015 | Catering & hospitality

Secondary school students from across Birmingham are being invited to don their chef whites and put their culinary skills to the test for the Busy Bees Training ‘Greens to Gourmet’ Cookery Challenge. 

During the week commencing 5th October, year 11 Food Technology students are being asked to prepare a delicious meal from one of two mystery bags, which will be filled with healthy, seasonal ingredients that the competitors can choose to use. They will then be given 20 minutes to research a dish using the given ingredients, followed by an hour to prepare the dish for judging. 

The shortlisted dishes will go on to the semi-finals during November, held at Harbourne Food School, before going onto the final round on the 19th November, where an expert panel will decide the overall winner. Chef Director Luke Tipping, award winning chef at Birmingham’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Simpsons, will form part of the judging team. The winning young chef will be invited to enjoy an all-expenses paid meal for four at Simpsons. 

Luke Tipping

Talking about his involvement, Luke Tipping said: “Our industry needs more chefs and I’m proud to be involved in initiatives that encourage young people to pursue a career in catering. Simpsons has been a training ground for many great local chefs and we are committed to nurturing the skills of young people. I’m looking forward to sampling the creations in the final and maybe even spotting some new chef talent.”

Talking about the motivation behind the competition, Training Manager, Fay Gibbin said: “Busy Bees Training currently offers catering apprenticeships throughout our nurseries, and will soon offer to external independent settings, so we know the level of creativity and passion young people can bring to the industry. We want to encourage the spark of interest Food Technology students have in catering, and offer them the chance to take part in a fun and creative activity that will provide them with an exciting learning experience.  

“We really are hoping Busy Bees ‘Greens to Gourmet’ competition will help inspire young people in Birmingham to pursue their passion for food and cookery, while offering them the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom and provide them with a platform to represent their schools at regional level, while advancing and showcasing their culinary cleverness.” 

Any schools or year 11 Food Technology students in Birmingham who wish to take part in the competition should contact, or visit for more information.    

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