Pidy announces return of student catering challenge

Ready-to-fill pastry manufacturer Pidy has announced the return of its ‘revamp the vol-au-vent’ student catering challenge for the second year.

The challenge invites catering students to revamp the traditional vol-au-vent, using at least one of the three best-selling Pidy vol-au-vents. This year, students are challenged to create an inventive dish with a street food theme.

“The Pidy ‘revamp the vol-au-vent’ catering challenge was a huge triumph last year, there was no question about its return this year,” said Pidy UK general manager Robert Whittle. “We have taken the challenge to the next level by making the brief more specific with a street food theme, not only to differentiate from last year’s competition but also to test the student’s abilities even more.”

A panel will judge the menu concepts on paper and choose the eight best entries. Finalists will be invited to attend a Grand Final Cook-Off at the Claire Clark Pastry Academy at Milton Keynes College on Friday, 7 December. Students will demonstrate their skills and present their dish to industry professionals, including leading international pastry chef and judge of BBC’s Bake-Off Crème de la Crème Claire Clark who will return to the panel for a second consecutive year.

Whittle added: “It’s such a rewarding experience and excellent practice for the students to be able to present their skills in a fun yet professional environment. For many, it is their first competition and it helps to develop their confidence in the kitchen greatly.

“The students blew us away last year and definitely proved that there’s so much that can be done with a small hollow case of puff pastry! We can’t wait to see what this year’s competitors have in store for us.”

This year’s winner will be awarded the vol-au-vent trophy, a lunchtime meal for two at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and £200 worth of catering vouchers.

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