Nestlé Professional® has announced the launch of Toque d’Or Digital, a virtual platform designed to ensure that the prestigious competition can continue to inspire and support the next generation of hospitality professionals in the current climate.
The competition has been adapted to provide the opportunity for finalists to develop their skills and further their careers in a post-COVID-19 world. The educational challenges will take place between 10th – 14th August 2020, via Zoom, and will see the finalists working both individually and in pairs to create a mix of pre-recorded and live sessions from their homes.
The 24 front and back of house finalists will compete in a series of relevant and timely digital challenges which will aim to further their knowledge and provide them with the tools needed to learn and adapt to the changes in the hospitality industry.
The challenges will consist of a mix of practical, service-based and business-focused tasks, focusing on crucial areas such as social media, business management and sustainable food and drink. The theme of sustainable futures will be at the centre of each challenge, all while testing the contestants in new areas, techniques and working environments.
Katya Simmons, Managing Director of Nestle Professional® UK & Ireland, comments: “When we postponed the finals back in March, our focus was to ensure that the rescheduled finale would meet the demands of the situation we found ourselves in, but also that it would provide a new level of challenge and range of skills for our finalists to test themselves with. We are delighted with the innovation that our team has shown to construct a final fitting of the Toque d’Or name. We wish all of our competitors the best of luck and hope they enjoy the occasion that they have worked so hard to be a part of.”
To support the contestants through the process will be this year’s panel of expert judges: Adam Bateman, Group Operations and Development Chef at Intercontinental Hotels Group; James Tanner, Acclaimed Chef and Restauranteur; Ruth Hansom, the first female to win Young National Chef of the Year and contestant of this year’s Great British Menu; Allison Taffs, Owner at Allison Taff’s People Development and The Grape Society; and Robert Smith, Creative Director and Producer at Shuttersmith.
Adam Bateman, Group Operations and Development Chef at Intercontinental Hotels Group and Head of Judges for Toque d’Or 2020, comments: “Our aim with the Toque d’Or competition has always been to challenge the contestants and provide them with a broad range of skills that can be used to further their careers in the hospitality sector. The rescheduling of the finals gave us the opportunity to push them, and the judging team, even further with a wider range of digital challenges at home, and we are excited to see how the finalists take on these tasks. On behalf of the judging team, I would like to say congratulations to our contestants for getting this far and we look forward to seeing how you embrace this new digital challenge.”
Helping the judges to select the winners will also be this year’s partners who help to make the challenges possible. These include: Shuttersmith Media; WSET; Warner’s Gin; Mulmar; Nescafé; Olio; and Footprint Media.
Other valued supporters of this year’s Toque d’Or include: PACE; HIT Training; Savoy Educational Trust; Russums; and Springboard.
Nestlé Professional’s Toque d’Or hopes to bring the industry together following a difficult period to celebrate the up and coming talent in the sector and support the contestants. Each of the challenges will be available to watch or live stream via the Toque d’Or social channels and YouTube page, with the winners being crowned via a live virtual awards ceremony at the beginning of September.
Get involved and cheer on the contestants via:
For more information about Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or® 2020 visit https://www.nestleprofessional.co.uk/toque-dor.