Apprenticeship Catering Challenge cooks up a storm


We recently celebrated the end of National Apprenticeship Week with the final of our Apprentice Catering Challenge.

The final was held at the Big Birmingham Bake on the 11th of February, with special guest judge Chigs Parmar joining us to help crown the final winner.

Apprentices have been working very hard on a set of challenges set by their chef mentors. These challenges ranged from making bread to making healthy dishes. The apprentices’ hard work would see them move on to the final, where they would be set two final challenges.

Simon Hart, Catering Development Coach and Lisa Denehy, Head of Catering from Busy Bees were joined by Chigs to decide who came out on top in the final event.

The first challenge was to make a meal or dessert from a box of ingredients they are given. The aim of the challenge is to use every element of the ingredient they are given to ensure there is no waste. The apprentices were given a range of different foods to create a dish from scratch without any recipes or help.

Cosmin Ruseau came out on top in the first challenge, creating a traditional Romanian dish called ‘Ciulama’ from his ingredients.

The second and final challenge was to make a sharing dessert fit for a Valentine’s Day meal, with the apprentices planning and preparing their final creations from scratch. The apprentices wowed the judges with some luscious desserts, but it was Jessica Perry who came out on top with a healthy and delicious low-sugar, strawberry cheesecake that the judges agreed brought back some childhood memories.

The Catering Challenge saw some fantastic dishes being created, with some impressive creations all being worthy winners. However, the top prize went to Cosmin, who impressed the judges by creating traditional a traditional Romanian dish, and a sublime strawberry cheesecake.

Comsin is a Catering Apprentice who works at Busy Bees Leeds Headingley Centre and is currently undertaking a Level 3 Production Chef apprenticeship. After receiving the prize of an engraved chopping board, he said: “I’m very happy that I won the Busy Bees Catering Challenge. Thank you Busy Bees! If anyone is thinking of undertaking an apprenticeship, I say go for it!”

Speaking about the day, Chief Operating Officer at Busy Bees Education and Training Anthony Bromirski, said: “It was great to be here today to celebrate and share the success of our apprentices in the catering challenge.

“The five apprentices cooked some amazing dishes and the desserts were amazing. But ultimately this is about the future, we have got over 100 vacancies across our business in terms of those who can start their journey in catering and support what we do in giving every child the best start in life.”

Well done to all our apprentices who took part in the challenge and the final. We were impressed by your ingenuity and cooking skills!

Click here to find out more about our catering apprenticeship vacancies