Twenty-five-year-old Viktorija Bernataviciute, a third year chef graduate at Northampton College joins 18-year-old Jonah Kellar of City College Plymouth and Giuseppe Giorgio Finocchio, 22, of Westminster Kingsway College, in winning the prize of a 12 month placement at Tom Kitchin's Edinburgh restaurant The Kitchin, Simon Hulstone's Torquay restaurant The Elephant and Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias' Bristol restaurant Casamia.
Each winner will spend four months in one kitchen before moving on to the next with the aim of putting the skills learnt at college into practice in the professional kitchen and picking up some expert tips from their Michelin-starred mentors along the way.
The prize also includes an Electrolux Professional Touchline Combi-Steam for each of the winners' colleges.
To compete in the final, each of the seven finalists was tasked with making and serving a three-course meal for a table of Michelin-starred chefs and industry experts.
Hulstone, who helped judge the final with Northcote's Nigel Haworth, Martin Bates of the Craft Guild of Chefs and Electrolux Professional’s Andy Blakemore, said the final three chefs had shown the right level of skill, but were also mindful of the importance of working in a team.
“Individually the three winners were all excellent but ultimately they came together well in their team and showed stand out qualities such as skill, determination and good attitude that would be perfectly suited in any kitchen brigade," he said.
Electrolux marketing manager Vanessa Holloway said: “Electrolux has been supporting professional kitchens for nearly a century with our appliances. Naturally, we are proud to have launched Electrolux Chef Academy sharing our extensive expertise to create these kinds of life-changing opportunities to aspiring young chefs. The success of the academy is about getting the right people together from industry and education to deliver a credible learning platform with true integrity.
“The final challenge was a difficult one – the finalists had to create and deliver a three-course meal to a table of Michelin star chefs and renowned industry experts. All three winners particularly impressed the judges with their skills, attitude and ability to keep calm in a high-pressure situation. We wish them every success on their placements and Electrolux will be supporting them every step of the way”.