New City College scooped the best Restaurant Service award in the national finals of the prestigious Passion to Inspire 2023 competition.
The gold medal was won by student Klaudia Czuj, 18, who is studying the Level 3 Catering and Hospitality Food and Beverage Service course at NCC Hackney campus.
As well as the top accolade, Klaudia also won a fantastic day at the Infusions ICE Experience based in Suffolk, along with a special cocktail shaker and recipe book.
The win was very special for Klaudia who has developed her skills and built up her confidence at OKN1 Restaurant – the training academy based at the Hackney campus.
The team of chefs from New City College performed brilliantly at the finals, held in Norwich. They had beaten 37 other teams from across the country and won through 6 heats to get there, but were just nudged out of the top overall winner’s spot by the team from Colchester Institute.
The other finalists were Suffolk New College, Cambridge Regional College, West Suffolk College and City College Norwich.
Justin McNamara, New City College Senior Curriculum Manager for Catering and Hospitality at Hackney, said: “Everyone at New City College is extremely proud of the team for reaching the national finals – which is an achievement in itself. For Klaudia to then win the top award in the Restaurant Service section was fantastic and very much deserved. She has spent hours practising and really deserved the trophy.”
The judges included Mark Poynton, Bradley Dorrington and Greg Anderson, among others.
Mark Poynton said: “Such talented young people! The aptitude and attitude of all the finalists was simply amazing. Their work ethic and teamwork was stunning. All the skills on show in the kitchen and service sections were absolutely wonderful.”
Judge Bradley Dorrington added: “This year’s competitors raised the bar higher than ever. Specifically in the Front of House and Service sections – the students’ knowledge and skills were exemplary. All the competitors and colleges should be incredibly proud of what they achieved at the finals.”