ICG Competition – Winner Updates 

(formerly Teflon™ DSA)

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Joe & Harriet Graduate

Joe Smith & Harriet Morgan, 2017 Winners

We're proud to announce that Aspiring Student Chef 2017 Winner Joe Smith and Keen Young Cook 2017 Winner Harriet Morgan graduated from the Specialised Chefs Course with distinction.

Arranged by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and managed by the Bournemouth & Poole College, Joe was also awarded Egon Ronay Scholar of the Year for showing remarkable development. 

For students, this is certainly one of the best opportunities to gain insight into the industry and potentially a life-changing opportunity to receive a three-year Specialised Chefs Scholarship, training to become a fully qualified chef.


Training with a chef member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Harriet spent her apprenticeship at The Dorchester and Joe spent his work-based training with The Ritz’s John Williams MBE.


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Aspiring Student Chef Winner

Joe Smith, 2017 Winner.

"Time has flown by, since taking part in the competition in 2017. Three years have passed and I have recently received my results for the completion of the Royal Academy of the Culinary Arts diploma in which I am delighted to say that I achieved a distinction and am proud to be one of those who performed most highly in the practical assessment to complete the course.


For this final 6 hour assessment, we were required to showcase our skills and knowledge of a multitude of complex dishes including strand plaited rolls, consommé Colbert, Sole Boitelle, pork Orloff with turned vegetable garnish and chocolate, craquelin topped, choux buns.


Due to the pandemic, we were very limited with the time we had in college. The three months which we were supposed to have to be able to prepare for this final assessment was reduced to only 5 days where we had to learn the dishes and be able to produce them to a high standard in the allotted time.


Also, as a part of our final assessment, we had to complete a workplace project within the third year of study. For this, we had to create 40 recipes (10 starters, 10 fish, 10 mains, 10 desserts), 10 of which I had to document the cooking processes as well as the plating, costings, allergen information and a step by step method.


I was so happy with the result of my project and so proud of the many compliments that I received. John Williams penned “Congratulations Joe on all your hard work during your apprenticeship, you should be very proud and excellent work on your menu book”. Receiving this kind on commendation from Chef is such an achievement to me, I was very grateful not just for his words but the rest of the team at The Ritz London for their support and guidance throughout the course.


Since I have completed the course, I asked to move full time into the bakery to carry on my passion to become a Tourier. To learn more about viennoiserie and dough products as this is where I am truly passionate."


Attached below is just a sample of a page from my project.

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Keen Young Cook Winner

Ruby Dyer, 2019 Winner.

"My passion for not only nutrition but also cooking is unsurpassed due to taking part and wining the ‘Keen Young Cook’ competition. At school, my desire to cook is to be recognised by my teacher but having professional chefs, such as Lesley, validate my skills meant a lot to me.


This wonderful experience has spurred me on to strive for a career in the future in the food industry. Winning this for me is not just a personal achievement for my university statement but a realisation that I can succeed in this competitive food industry.

Therefore, I am currently looking around universities, focusing on Nutrition at Dietician courses. My ultimate goal is to obtain a degree in either Dietetics or Nutrition and then be able to share my knowledge with those in need. 

To conclude, I would like to thank all of those who make this competition possible as I look back on this day with only fond memories and it has also given me clarity for my further eduction."

Keen Home Cook Winner

James Hooper, 2019 Winner.

What a prize this turned out to be!

It was proving difficult to arrange a course at the Cookery School as those I preferred were already full. Lesley came to the rescue and generously offered to hold a Mediterranean Kitchen course for just me and my wife, Grace. We arrived a little late, stressed, as the traffic on the M5 on a Friday was horrendous; also the Satnav and I couldn’t agree.

Within minutes, after a warm welcome, coffee and some cake, I was relaxed again. Being just the two of us the course was very personal and hands-on. First, we made rosemary focaccia and a mezze of hummus, tapenade and marinated feta.

Our starter was a rustic prawn, chorizo and tomato salad. Everything was delicious but we knew we had to rein in our eating as we were having a three course dinner at the hotel later. Chicken saltimbocca with cheesy polenta and a tuna empanada followed. Dessert was orange sformato with roasted nectarines in a prosecco and berry sauce.

Lesley’s teaching technique was very informal and relaxed; she was ably supported by Steve, Kaz and Scout. It was all great fun and time passed really quickly. We left with a sheath of the recipes we had cooked, and more.  We’ve friends coming over for supper in a couple of weeks; all three courses that night will be from this course. I would highly recommend one of Lesley’s courses to anyone: good food and teaching in a lovely setting, inside and out.

We then drove to Sherborne and the Eastbury Hotel where, again, we received a warm welcome. Matt Street came out of the kitchen to greet us and have a photo shoot with Lesley and me. In preparation for dinner, and having eaten so much at lunch, we had a wander around Sherborne, a town we had never visited before; Sherborne and its abbey are very picturesque and quaint. We ate dinner as late as we could. We opted for the three course menu rather than the seven course taster menu as we were sure we wouldn’t be able to do seven courses justice; I enviously watched the table next to us enjoy their taster menus.

Matt was always going to win me over with venison on the menu. Grace chose the cheese brulée for her starter which she thought was so good that I had to taste it; she was right, the highlight of the meal. After service, Matt came out of the kitchen and we chatted about cooking and the competitions we had been in. After all that food, I slept really well.

The next morning, we had a late full Dorset breakfast followed by another stroll around the town in the sunshine. On leaving the hotel I received a “goodie” bag; one of the “goodies” was a recipe book which featured a couple of Matt’s recipes which I’ll definitely try. We left Sherborne for the long journey home having had a luxurious couple of days.

Aspiring Student Chef Winner

James Ganderton, 2015 Winner.

Our 2015 winner James Ganderton graduated with distinction from Bournemouth & Poole College with his Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Specialised Chef qualifications on Monday 25th February 2019.


James was placed at the renowned and award winning Chewton Glen Hotel during his Scholarship where he thrived in the esteemed and professional environment as an apprentice.


He dreams of a future running his own 30 cover fine dining establishment, using produce from his own small holding and the surrounding area. 


Keen Young Cook Winner

Ethan Kirkby, 2018 Winner.

"On the day of the competition in London, I felt both nervous and excited as I arrived at the venue. However, when I put my chef’s whites on, I felt ready to cook.


All the ingredients were laid out and ready and the judges worked hard to put all the young chefs at ease. I felt really focused and well prepared during the cook. When I had finished, I was so pleased with the results and presentation that I really wanted to cook again!


When my name was called out as the joint-winner, I was totally shocked and overjoyed. I can’t wait to take my chef’s career further in the coming years. I hope that winning the competition is the start of something amazing, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It was a fantastic experience." - May 2018.

Aspiring Student Chef Winner

Mary Harper, 2018 Winner.

"It has been my goal for the past two years to win this competition and to travel down to Bournemouth for the Specialised Chefs course.


In January 2018, I achieved this goal. I cannot begin to describe the rush of emotions I had that day and are still having now. Winning Teflon™ DSA has opened a huge amount of doors for me, not only the opportunity of moving to Bournemouth, but also being on the radio, in the newspapers, its been an incredible few months.


I owe all of my gratitude to the fantastic help I've had from my family and my tutor Darren Creed. None of this would have been possible without them.

I am very much looking forward to September to start my course and my new life." - May 2018.

Keen Home Cook Winner

Rosina Watkins, 2018 Winner.

The winner’s weekend was fantastic. We set off early to arrive ahead of time at Lesley Waters Cookery School, and so had a bit of time to appreciate the beautiful countryside near Lesley’s home. Again, the welcome was warm. Lesley is so kind and generous, and it was very nice that she and Jacks remembered me from the Teflon Cookery Competition.


My husband Jon and I listened to her very carefully. We learned so much. The Cookery school is in a beautiful and well stocked kitchen and Lesley is very generous with the high quality ingredients. Our Cookery school day was a Hands On Oriental day. We cooked for the morning and were able to eat our creations as lunch. I can truly say that the Laksa we cooked for lunch was easily the best thing I had eaten this year The Lesley Waters Cookery day was professionally lead, fun, memorable and a great learning experience. All the participants loved it and it was a real pleasure to meet all of them.                         


After the Cookery School Day we made our way to the lovely town of Sherborne for our hotel stay. Executive Chef of Seasons 2 AA Rosette Restaurant at The Eastbury, Matt Street came to reception to greet us and it was wonderful to meet him. He offered to host me in his busy kitchens he next day. That night we slept really well after our very exciting and enjoyable day. I loved it in the kitchen. I helped make canapés and received demos and instructions from Matt’s professional team. It was great fun and I learned so much. I also met The Eastbury Hotel’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Ian Crighton who came in specifically to see me on his day off. Ian told me more about the hotel and its plan to add a luxury “Hobbit” style spa and additional “Potting Shed” garden rooms. These exciting new additions will open in spring 2019.    


After my commercial cooking experience Jon and I had a delicious and beautifully presented lunch in the hotels restaurant. The whole weekend was a fabulous experience.

Keen Young Cook Winner

Harriet Morgan-Barstow, 2017 Winner.

"My Specialised Chef Scholarship is going really well. I have spent the first term at Bournemouth & Poole College, during that time I was lucky enough to take part in a pop up Pig restaurant hosted by James Golding and his team.


I also went to this years Teflon DSA competition to help with judging. This was a great experience, very different to be on the other side of a cooking competition.


We also went on a trip to the Dorchester hotel in London to have a look round their kitchens. I am now very fortunate to have been given a work placement there.


For the past 5 months I have been working in the pastry kitchen along with 18 other pastry chefs. We are currently working towards producing 3500 afternoon tea covers for the Chelsea Flower Show this week.


Working at the Dorchester Hotel is an amazing opportunity and every day brings different challenges and achievements." - May 2018.

Keen Home Cook Winner

Gareth Ford, 2017 Winner.