16th November 2017
In 2017, Hull College had the honour of sending two students to the WorldSkills finals to represent the UK, and their amazing achievements have now inspired more learners to take the challenge of a lifetime.
Throughout their final year studying Level 3 Professional Cookery in the colleges catering school, two budding chefs watched fellow student Steven Lodge being trained by tutor and WorldSkills expert Phil Dixon in preparation for the biggest skills contest in the world.
Watching his story unfold, they were inspired to enter the competition for 2018, and with full support of the college, they made it past the qualifying rounds.
Now, on 17 November, Ellie Tuttle and Connor Stowe will travel to the Birmingham NEC where they will compete in the national finals for a place on Squad UK.
The coveted Squad UK positions sees the students enter into a rigorous selection and training programme to prepare for the selection process that eventually makes up Team UK, who go on to head for the finals.
Ellie and Connor are set to compete in the Confectionary and Patisserie category, which will see them produce Chocolate work and Sugar Work, as well as attempt several patisserie challenges.
To prepare for the challenge, the students undergo an incredible level of training designed to fit around their current work and training commitments, resulting in a 4-day schedule, training from 7am to 9pm in Hull College’s kitchens, under the guidance of tutor Phil Dixon and Course Leader Ian Snedden.
In 2017, Hull College had a further connection with the competition as Tutor Phil Dixon was selected as an “expert”, assigned with training and guiding the finalists in the region, and this year is no different, with yet another connection.
Course Leader Ian Snedden was announced as a “WorldSkills Local Hero” in recognition of his hard work, commitment and encouragement to competing students, and Ian will join Ellie and Connor in Birmingham to continue this role.
Head of the School of Catering, Nicola Allison said, “Our involvement in the WorldSkills competition has an incredible and impressive history, and is the perfect platform to showcase the level of talent coming out of Hull College, firstly, from our students, but also the staff, who really push them to succeed.”
“We were so proud of Steven Lodge in the 2017 competition, and to see him representing the UK was incredible, and now, we are all rooting for Ellie and Connor to pick up the mantle.”
“With the support of Ian Snedden and Phil Dixon, we are confident they will go far and we look forward to seeing what they achieve in the 2018 event.”
Ellie Tuttle is no stranger to competitions, and has already achieved an impressive list of awards, including Gold and Silver Medals in various Hotelympia competitions and is also the recipient of a unique award from Michelin Star Chef James Mackenzie, as the winner of the Yorkshire Chef Certificate for 2017.
As well as these awards, Ellie was crowned the winner of the 2017 Copper Saucepan award, making her the first female winner of this prestigious title.
Ellie said, “I decided to enter the WorldSkills because I have already done really well in a few other competitions and I thought I was finally ready to take this on, and as a result I have now fallen in with Chocolate work.“
“Seeing the amazing work Steven did last year really made me believe that it is possible if you are passionate about it.”
Connor said, “Watching Steven train with Phil in our classes over the last year really inspired me to take the challenge, so I talked to Phil who had total faith in me and felt that I was capable of doing this, so we went from there.”
“Getting through this stage would mean so much to me, as there is a lot of hard work that goes in to this competition and it would mean that this has paid off.”