Toque d’Or Digital will be a virtual platform designed to ensure that the competition can continue to inspire and support the next generation of hospitality professionals in the current climate, according to the company.
The competition, which sees 24 front and back of house finalists will compete in a series of challenges, has been adapted to provide the opportunity for finalists to develop their skills and further their careers in a post-Coronavirus world. The challenges will take place between 10 and 14 August via Zoom with the finalists working both individually and in pairs to create a mix of pre-recorded and live sessions from their homes.
The challenges will consist of a mix of practical, service and business-based tasks, focusing on areas such as social media, business management and sustainable food and drink. The theme of sustainable futures will be at the centre of each challenge.
Each of the challenges will be available to watch or live stream via the Toque d’Or social channels and YouTube page, with the winners being crowned via a live virtual awards ceremony at the beginning of September.
“When we postponed the finals back in March, our focus was to ensure that the rescheduled finale would meet the demands of the situation we found ourselves in, but also that it would provide a new level of challenge and range of skills for our finalists to test themselves with,” says Katya Simmons, Nestle Professional UK & Ireland managing director.
“We wish all of our competitors the best of luck and hope they enjoy the occasion that they have worked so hard to be a part of.”
Supporting the contestants will be a panel of expert judges, including Adam Bateman, culinary director for the Grand Hotel Birmingham; James Tanner; Ruth Hansom; Allison Taffs, owner at Allison Taffs People Development and The Grape Society; and Robert Smith, creative director and producer at Shuttersmith.
“Our aim with the Toque d’Or competition has always been to challenge the contestants and provide them with a broad range of skills that can be used to further their careers in the hospitality sector,” says Bateman.
“The rescheduling of the finals gave us the opportunity to push them, and the judging team, even further with a wider range of digital challenges at home, and we are excited to see how the finalists take on these tasks.”