The star bakers, master chefs and hotel staff of the future were applauded at an award ceremony.
The trainee cooks and front-of-house staff were recognised by the Hospitality Training department of Bedford College at its “Caties” night, held at the Corn Exchange.
Executive Director of the Arts Sue Blackman congratulated students on their creativity and thanked more than a baker’s dozen of employers who supported the department.
Assistant Director Mark Lewis said families were key to the success of students and explained how his interest in catering started by being taught to cook by his grandmother, He said: “Cooking begins at home, passion turns it into a profession”.
Overall Winner was Joseph Elliott, 17, from Cranfield, who attended Wootton Upper School before moving to Bedford College. He was recognised for his 100 per cent attendance, commitment, methodology, smart appearance and professional approach to work experience, where the employer described him as “a credit to Bedford College”.
Winner of the Hospitality and Catering Cake Decoration Level 1 Student of the Year (SotY) was Maria Poultney.
Winner of the Cake Decoration Level 2 SotY was Sadie Farmer. She and nearly 50 others aged from 18 to 60 completed the part-time course to exhibition standards.
Winner of the Certificate Introduction to the Hospitality Industry Entry Level 3 SotY was Carmel Smith. Runner-up was Katie Sheppard.
Winner of the Professional Cookery Level 2 SotY was Hannah Slight, who enjoyed work experience at The Embankment, and runner up was Bradley Rawlins who practised at Woodland Manor, Clapham.
Winner of the Food and Beverage Service Level 2 SotY was Luke Bray, who acted as a Student Champion encouraging school children to consider training for a career in hospitality. Runner up was Nadine Harper.
Winner of the Hospitality and Catering Level 3 SotY was Steven Linney.
Winner of the Apprentice/Work-based Soty was Joanna Foster who works at Luton Town Football club feeding fans and players.
Winner of the Higher Education SotY was Jemima Pestle who has gone on to study for BA in Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University. She progressed from A Levels on to the degree-level course which combined practical experience with theory at Bedford College.
There was a special award for staff member Alex Hadland who, after falling off a horse and breaking her leg, continued to support the team. Formerly a publican at The Fox, Carlton, Alex completed her teaching qualification and now lectures in Hospitality as well as teaching English and Maths.