Three students from Belfast Metropolitan College have scooped the Future Baker award, winning a week-long bakery trip to the Richemont Centre of Excellence in Switzerland

Lawri Dowie, Laura Chart and Rebecca Mann took the top accolade, sponsored by California Raisins, which was awarded to them at a ceremony during this year’s Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees (ABST) Conference at the Alton Towers Hotel in Staffordshire.

Bakery students were judged on a range of bakery and confectionery products by a team of judges, headed up by former Rank Hovis technical sales manager Colin Lomax and Hugh Weeks, who has worked at Renshaw and is a life-member of the British Confectioner’s Association.

UK colleges were visited from March by the judging panel, where they had five hours to produce a variety of goods from categories such as fermented, savoury, confectionery and innovation. Marks were then awarded for overall appearance, flavour, skill, technique and workmanship.

The two colleges that came runners-up in this year’s Future Baker competition were The University College Birmingham and Tameside College.

Colin Lomax said making a decision on the winner was tough, with “only five points between the top three colleges taking part” during a speech at the awards dinner on Saturday.

Dee Cassey, marketing manager for California Raisins, said: “This competition will not only give the college the opportunity to demonstrate its skills in bread-making, confectionery, savoury and innovation using California Raisins, but also allow students to showcase their abilities.”

To read the full review of this year’s ABST Conference, read the 29 June issue of British Baker.