COLCHESTER Institute`s Balkerne Restaurant was last night named College Restaurant of the Year amid much excitement and the Macarena at Chelsea Football Club`s Stamford Bridge stadium.
The students took top prize for their efforts at the college`s restaurant, while they also took the honours for the East region.
Manchester College of Art & Technology took the North award for their efforts at their Bistro East restaurant, while Perth College topped the judging in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
New College Nottingham won Wales, the Midlands and the East for Adams Restaurant, and London and the South was won by South Downs College for their Horizons eatery.
Being students, the winners were more than a little excited when their name was pulled out of the envelope by Paul Wootton, editor of Restaurant magazine, and took to the dancefloor for the rest of the night through until the early hours.
College Restaurant of the Year (Croty) is an annual nationwide competition, run by Restaurant magazine, to find and reward the potential stars of the future in the restaurant industry.
The goal is to encourage students and bring recognition to teaching establishments, with all finalists receiving coverage in the magazine during the contest. This year Croty also incorporates the EuroSkills Cook & Serve competition.
Croty is open to any college or university that awards nationally recognised qualifications within the catering and hospitality industry, and that has an in-house restaurant staffed by its current students, which is open to the public.