Busy Bees Education and Training recently held the final of its Apprenticeship Catering Challenge, with celebrity guest judge, Chigs Parmar, handing down his verdict on proceedings.

The final was held at the Big Birmingham Bake on the 11th February, during National Apprenticeship Week, with five apprentices battling it out to be crowned winner of the challenge.

Apprentices have been completing weekly challenges, that ranged from baking bread to making healthy dishes. The weekly challenges culminated with the final taking place during National Apprenticeship Week.

Five finalists were set two challenges on the day before the judging panel got together to discuss and choose a winner. Simon Hart, Catering Development Coach and Lisa Denehy, Head of Catering for 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 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 event saw some fantastic dishes being created, with some impressive creations all being worthy winners. However, the top prize went to Cosmin Ruseau, who wowed the judges by creating 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 catering vacancies across our business in terms of those who can start their journey in catering and really support what we do in giving every child the best start in life.”

Busy Bees Education and Training is one of the UK’s largest apprenticeship providers, delivering over 70 apprenticeships, accredited courses and CPD programmes to over 2,500 learners across the country. It works with a wider range of employers from within childcare, catering, residential care, clinical care and management and has helped them to upskill 4,000 employees so far.