A MERTHYR Tydfil student has baked her way to victory, after winning Gold in a catering competition against professional chefs from across Wales and England.
Eloise Powell, who is studying Level One Professional Cookery at The College Ystrad Mynach, took part in a master-chef style competition by baking 16 cupcakes in limited time at The Welsh International Culinary Championships.
The 22 year old had just 30 minutes to create four different cupcake designs, assessed by judges from the Welsh Culinary Association - a body recognised for promoting excellence in cookery within Wales.
The panel presented Eloise with the Gold Award after recognising excellence in her originality, style of presentation and assembly of products and flavours.
Hosted by Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, the championships are designed to showcase Welsh culinary talent and celebrate skills in developing quality food.
The College Ystrad Mynach has participated in competitions at the Rhos on Sea based institution for nearly a decade, giving students an opportunity to experience challenges in the work place.
Furthermore, Eloise is the second student from The College Ystrad Mynach to receive the ‘best in class award’ at the championships.
An aspiring pâtisserie chef, she commented that her success is due to a mixture of passion, determination and support:
“I am thrilled to win both the gold and best in class awards. I have been baking from the age of six, but recovering from a spine operation three years ago gave me the determination to cook professionally.
“I would not have been able to enter this competition without the support of The College Ystrad Mynach and have applied for my second year at The College.
“Once I gain my qualifications, I plan to move to New Zealand, as I’ve already been offered a job by one of the judges.”
Liz Jones, Head of Service Industries, Hospitality and Catering at The College Ystrad Mynach, said Miss Powell’s aptitude for cookery was recognised at an early stage:
“I am delighted that Eloise has been offered such a fantastic and nationally recognised award. Creating high quality cupcakes in half an hour is very challenging and Eloise’s sheer creativity and passion for baking carried her through the competition.
“As a college, we try to drive students to participate in as many competitions as possible in order to give them a chance to showcase their hard work and abilities.
“We recognised Eloise’s gift for baking very early on and both awards are a testament to her incredible talent.”
Bryn Davies, principal at The College Ystrad Mynach, commented:
“I am very proud that one of our students has achieved such a splendid result.
“Our students are driven, intelligent and talented individuals and Eloise’s accomplishment signifies the professional standard of our students.
“Our staff work incredibly hard to ensure great prospects for each individual and we are thrilled to be partly responsible for Eloise’s bright future.”