Cafe Football  has announced Newham College student Whilamina Guru as the winner of its regional competition, where her dish will be placed on the new Cafe Football Stratford menu.

Whilamina (19), beat fellow students Lucy Ellis and Diakalaye Diakhite to the prize, after impressing judges with her ‘Golden Balls’ dish, which consists of Thai styled fishcakes with coleslaw, accompanied by a lime and chilli mayonnaise.

The finalists, two level 1 and one level two students taking an NVQ in professional cookery at Newham College, were shortlisted by Cafe Football Stratford head chef and subsequently selected to attend the final of the cooking competition, held in Cafe Football’s kitchen.

From left to right: Giovann Attard (Cafe Football Stratford Head Chef), Whilamina Guru, Diakalaye, Lucy Ellis and Dean Green (Cafe Football Stratford General Manager)

The students were judged on three categories; the taste of the dish, presentation and efficiency in the kitchen and what’s more the dishes had to be able to be sold at £10 or less.

Giovann Attard, Cafe Football Stratford head chef, said: “The dishes the students created would each make excellent additions to the Cafe Football menu, but Whilamina was selected as the winner as the flavours she brought together in her fishcakes were simply outstanding. Whilamina, Lucy and Diakalaye should all be extremely proud of their efforts and competency in the kitchen.  I am confident each will have successful careers in the hospitality industry if their efforts here today are anything to go by.”

Gary Johnson, curriculum team leader for hospitality and catering at Newham College, said: “The students have been immensely inspired and excited by the prospect of seeing a dish they have created appear on a menu for a restaurant conceived by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs.

“This competition has been a huge transition for the students, from practicing in the Newham College kitchens to the reality of a catering for the general public.  We are delighted to work with the staff at Cafe Football as they have really helped to enthuse our future chefs and connect with the hospitality and catering industry.”

The cafes new menus will be launched at the end of April in conjunction with the opening of a new Cafe Football opening at The National Football Museum in Manchester. These new menus will also include a section entitled ‘Eat Like A Pro’ where guests will be able to indulge in food that not only tastes great but is good for the metabolism.


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