Tom and Rebecca turn up the heat

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A college’s budding masterchefs put their skills on the line on Wednesday as they took part in a national competition.

Students at West Suffolk College, in Bury St Edmunds, were feeling the heat as they took part in A Passion to Inspire, organised by Suffolk-raised chef Murray Chapman.

Passion to Inspire competition at Zest, West Suffolk College

Passion to Inspire competition at Zest, West Suffolk College

Judges, including Tuddenham Mill chef Paul Foster, took the taste test as the competitors produced a main course and dessert for invited guests.

Mr Foster said he had been impressed by the standard of cooking.

“We are looking for skills in front of house and in the kitchen and a showcase of what they have learned.

“We have had some really good stuff and great variety today,” he said.

Passion to Inspire competition at Zest, West Suffolk College

Passion to Inspire competition at Zest, West Suffolk College

Items on the menu included seared salmon with liquorice jelly and celeriac mash; pan-fried plaice with salmon crust; and dissasembled star anise creme brulee with a caramel shard.

Murray Chapman, a Master Chef of Great Britain, who went to school in Bury, said the competition was chance for students to produce two high quality courses, with an emphasis on quality.

“They are working very hard and producing technical food – it’s great to see,” he said.

In third place were chef Mariana José and waiter Kyle Halls, both from Bury St Edmunds.

Passion to Inspire competition at Zest, West Suffolk College''Pictured: Kyle Halls making a Sapphire Martini with a hint of ychee

Passion to Inspire competition at Zest, West Suffolk College''Pictured: Kyle Halls making a Sapphire Martini with a hint of ychee

Second place were chef Lauren Morris, from Ingham, and waiter Ashlea Collen-Quirke, from Ely.

The first placed team, winning a place in the finals, were chef Tom Miller and waitress Rebecca Griffith, both from Sudbury.

Passion to Inspire competition at Zest, West Suffolk College''Pictured: Tom Miller

Passion to Inspire competition at Zest, West Suffolk College''Pictured: Tom Miller