Naomi cooks up a storm

Release Date: 17 May 2016

One D&A College cookery student turned up the heat on her classmates when she scooped top place in a kitchen cook-off contest.

Naomi article
Naomi Hart bowled the judges over to win the SVQ level 3 professional cookery prize.

Naomi Hart beat off the competition when she prepared a beef wellington followed by baileys cheesecake in under two-and-half hours.

The cook-off was the culmination of the SVQ level 3 professional cookery course when each of the students in the class had to create a main course and a dessert in the time limit.

Naomi attributes her success to her own preparation and a measure of dedication shown by her boyfriend, Fraser.

“I may have practised a bit too hard,” confesses the St Andrews resident.

“In the run-up to the contest my boyfriend, Fraser, had beef wellington on about seven separate occasions.”

However, the Madras College FP does bring a wealth of experience to her discipline: as well as studying full-time at Kingsway Campus, Naomi works in two different restaurants – as a pastry chef in the world-renowned Gleneagles Hotel and as manager of Gorgeous in St Andrews, birthplace of the Prince of Cambridge scone, which the student helped develop.

The 23-year-old also cooked her way through a three-year degree course in York where she studied art and religion by day and threw dinner parties in the evening.

“I cooked all through university – hosting dinner parties and entertaining, always around food – so when I graduated I decided to pursue a career in catering or baking,” said the student.

There was certainly nothing half baked about Naomi’s beef wellington with potato croquettes, buttered greens and red wine jus, followed by baileys cheesecake topped with a chocolate ganache accompanied by pistachio tuile which impressed chef lecturer Neil Clarke who judged the cook-off.

“The standard was incredibly high in this year’s cook-off but Naomi did enough to inch past her colleagues,” said the lecturer.

Naomi, who intends to return to college after summer to study HNC professional cookery, received £50 and will be presented with a full set of kitchen knives at the college prize-giving ceremony on Tuesday, June 7.