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12 December 2023

College students win inaugural coffee challenge


Students from Edinburgh College’s Professional Cookery and Hospitality department have become the first ever winners of a new coffee challenge.

The Nespresso Professional Student Coffee Challenge, organised in partnership with Scottish Chefs, was held at the College’s Milton Road campus recently.

College teams from across Scotland were made up of three students, all in full-time catering and hospitality courses, and were given two hours to produce an afternoon tea selection alongside Nespresso coffee.

The winning menu from Ana Fernandez Santos, Niamh Brotherston and Mairi Edwards was made up of Tiramisu x Mont Blanc; Coffee Apple Choux au Craquelin; Smoked Mackerel and Beetroot Tart; and Puff Vegetable Samosa.

The students, who all study at the College’s Milton Road campus each received an invite to the Scottish Culinary Team dinner at Prestonfield House Hotel where they met Michel Roux, Patron of Scottish Chefs, and were presented with a signed book from him, plus a Nespresso M100 coffee machine for their college.

The judging panel of Joe Queen, Chair of The Scottish Chefs Culinary Committee, Kevin MacGillivray, International World Chefs Accredited Judge, Derek Johnston, the first winner of BBC MasterChef The Professionals, and Donna Dowson, Head of Sales UK, Nespresso, noted the winning team’s overall balance between sweet and savoury and the variety of pastry skills displayed by the students.

The standout item was the smoked mackerel with beetroot with judges saying the flavours were an excellent combination.

We’re very proud of Niamh, Ana and Mairi for their outstanding work in this event – they did a fantastic job. Competitions like these give our students a brilliant chance to test out their skills in pressurised situations. It’s also a great opportunity to network with peers from other colleges and experts from our industry. It was a pleasure to host the first year of this event and we look forward to future competitions.
Steph Tanner, Head of School for Professional Cookery
It was a privilege to support this competition, and help support the next generation of culinary superstars. It was inspiring to see the high standard on display and such imaginative menus to complement our coffee. When food is this delicious, being able to offer the best coffee is something we feel extremely passionate about, and we hope this is the first of many competitions to come.
Donna Dowson, Head of Sales UK, Nespresso
We are absolutely delighted to partner up with Nespresso on this new competition and help ignite their imagination of the students to develop new ideas and combinations to bring the Nespresso coffee into their creations. The judges were really impressed with the quality and flavours produced on the day form the winning team from Edinburgh College.
Joe Queen, Chair of the judges