City of Glasgow College students win top honours for Scotland at Stateside cook-off

Two students from City of Glasgow College have emerged victorious from an international cooking competition in the United States.

Vanessa Daley and Michael Shedden, both enrolled on the college’s HND professional cookery course, were handed the opportunity to represent Scotland at the Nations Cup Challenge at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan after helping a City of Glasgow College team to a gold medal and first place in the Future Talent ScotHot competition earlier this year, bettering the results of counterpart college teams in a cook-off for 40 diners at Glasgow’s SECC.

The pair travelled across the Atlantic with college lecturer and mentor Gary MacLean proved their culinary prowess to 180 dinner guests and in the face of competition from five rival teams from around the world.

Michael, from Cumnock in Ayrshire, said: “The experience was amazing from start to finish and the feeling of winning is only just sinking in now.”

Vanessa, 28, from Stewarton in Ayrshire, said: “It was the first time Michael and I had competed in an event abroad, but, between the two of us, we have a good set of skills.”

Vanessa and Michael tested those skills against competition in the form of college teams from reigning champions Canada as well as the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Barbados. They competed in a ‘Ready, Steady, Cook’ style competition comprising boxes of mystery ingredients from which they must formulate an appetising dish. The concluding showpiece event saw the teams prepare a course each as part of a ‘National Dish’ banquet for 180 diners.

Vanessa explains: “We were pretty confident with our dessert. We made a wild strawberry sorbet wrapped in cocoa butter, a honeycomb trio, chocolate ganache, raspberry and oat crumble, and little strawberry bubbles.”

*Photo credit – Sue Wong