Belgian-based ‘ready-to-fill’ pastry manufacturer Pidy is launching a new challenge aimed at catering and hospitality students within the UK.

Pidy’s ‘Revamp the vol-au-vent’ student challenge invites students to redesign the retro vol-au-vent using at least one of three specified products from the company, with the aim of creating a show-stopping final dish suitable for a hotel menu.

The company said it hoped this would encourage aspiring chefs and caterers to be “as creative as possible” when developing their entrées.

Initial menu concepts will be judged on paper by a panel, which will choose the eight best entries. The creators of these will then be invited to attend a Grand Final Cook-Off, taking place at The Claire Clark Pastry Academy at Milton Keynes College on Thursday, 7 December. This will give students the opportunity to present their culinary skills in front of industry professionals, including top international pastry chef and previous judge on BBC’s Bake-Off Crème de la Crème Claire Clark.

The winner will be awarded the Vol-au-vent Trophy, along with a lunchtime meal for two at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and £200-worth of catering vouchers.

Pidy UK general manager Robert Whittle said: “We’re excited for this opportunity to engage with students who have a real passion for food and want to succeed within the industry. It’s our aim to inspire and encourage the students to really push themselves to the limits, developing a fantastic dish they can be proud of.”

Family firm Pidy specialises in dry puff pastry and shortcrust fonçage dough, choux pastry and sponge cakes. In July the company launched a Mini Canapé Cone range for the foodservice market.