Super College Student Chefs ready for Title Challenge in USA

Student chefs from City of Glasgow College are preparing to defend their international cook-off title in a live head-to-head competition in the United States.

City of Glasgow College senior chef lecturer - and current BBC Masterchef: The Professionals winner - Gary Maclean will coach the students as they aim to retain the prestigious Atlantic Cup against Maryland’s Anne Arundel Community College on Wednesday 12 July.

The college students triumphed over their American opponents in the inaugural Atlantic Cup cooking challenge, held during the launch of City of Glasgow College’s new £228m super college in the heart of Glasgow last year. The cook-off also highlighted the strong partnership with Anne Arundel Community College, and the launch of an international student exchange programme.

Students - Russell Starkey, Wendy Lo, Anthony Mahon, Kevin McCafferty and Hayley McCook - face a challenging culinary test over 3,000 miles away from home as they compete against trainee chefs from Anne Arundel Community College, which is regarded as one of the best culinary schools in America.

Gary Maclean said: “This competition revolves around a black box, or a mystery basket, of ingredients. In front of a live audience, the students have to use the ingredients to create a three course meal for four people within a specified timeframe.

“The students will not know what they’re cooking until they get there so we will see a true reflection of their cooking ability on the day. It’s a perfect competition for young people to show what they are capable of doing, particularly under time pressure.

“It should be a really fun competition for the students to be involved in and, as much as I want to bring the trophy back, it’s all about enjoying the experience and improving their skills as chefs thanks to our links with Anne Arundel Community College.”

City of Glasgow College Principal and Chief Executive Paul Little said: “Strong synergies exist between our two colleges and I’m delighted we are able to continue this competition as both our colleges will no doubt benefit.

“Anne Arundel Community College was recently voted as one of the best culinary and hospitality schools in the USA, whilst City of Glasgow College continues to cement its reputation as a world-class provider of professional cookery and hospitality skills training. The transatlantic link-up between the two colleges will be of great benefit to both current and future students and the partnership is yet another example of our College’s global reach and reputation. We wish all the competitors the best of luck.”

In a letter to the five students, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon applauded the trainee chefs in their transatlantic ambassadorial role for the entire Scottish college sector.

First Minister Sturgeon said: “I am delighted that you will be acting as ambassadors not only for City of Glasgow College, but for all of Scotland’s colleges. I am confident that you will all show the skill and creativity which gives our colleges such high international standing.”