Major industry accolade for hospitality student

City of Glasgow College HND Hospitality Management student, Alex Dick, is one of the winners of Nestle Toque d’Or 2020.

Alex won Front of House in this prestigious competition whose final took place online due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The competition’s virtual finale saw front and back of house finalists take part in a series of digital challenges aimed at helping competitors develop their own ‘Click and Collect’ business model.

Alex, who grew up in Newton Stewart and went to Kirkcudbright Academy, said:

“I was very excited to be in Toque d’Or. I was confident if I made the heats, I’d be able to get to the finals because of my belief in my service skills. Winning was an incredible feeling, for myself and for the college who are incredibly proud and supportive.”

The event changed its format because of COVID-19 with its finale challenges a mix of practical, service-based and business-focused tasks, concentrating on crucial areas such as social media promotion, business management and sustainable food and drink.

“Being digital was the most challenging aspect about the competition. I really wanted to show off Scotland’s larder, especially from my local area, and through a pretty intense week I managed to create quite an awesome business. Local produce truly is the way forward,” added Alex.

“I would love to have been in London for the finals, but this isn’t a normal year and I’m really glad that Nestle were able to put the digital final together. It will go down in history. Toque d’Or will forever be a massive milestone. For me it’s always about the people I meet, and the experiences I have are bigger than any prize.”

Ava Kaskonas, Lecturer in Hospitality and Events at City of Glasgow College, and Alex’s mentor, said:

“It has been an incredible year for Alex, he has proven his abilities throughout his Toque d'Or journey and shown his true talent. His passion for the hospitality industry always shines through, alongside his can-do attitude and power to network. We are all immensely proud of him and how he so quickly adapted to the online aspect of the competition. It is a major accolade to win Toque d'Or 2020, especially in the circumstances, proving his versatility and commitment.” 

Alex fell into hospitality by accident when he was offered a part-time job at the wedding venue GG’s Yard in Gatehouse of Fleet. He fell in love with the business and family, left school and decided this was what he wanted to do. Travelling to Malaysia through hospitality made him love what he does even more.

The 21 year old has now returned to GG’s Yard where he’s been offered the bar manager position for their wedding venue and new restaurant.  

“I’d love to work in the biggest and best organisations in the world and feel I’m in the perfect role right now to allow that to happen in the future,” explained Alex. “I’m going to go to university next year and hope to get a business degree. In five years I will hopefully have a brilliant job, wherever that may be, but for now I’m really happy where I am and what I’m doing.”

Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or® is one of the UK’s most influential industry competitions, bridging the gap between the theories of the classroom, work-based learning and the exciting reality of the industry.