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Jockey Club Catering and Investec launch menu competition for Investec Derby Festival

JCC and Investec have launched a competition with South Thames College inviting its Hospitality and Catering students to create menus for next year’s Investec Derby Festival (5-6 June) at Epsom Downs Racecourse

News
Compass Group news team
Thursday 18 September 2014

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Hospitality and Catering students at South Thames College

Jockey Club Catering and Investec have launched a competition with South Thames College inviting its Hospitality and Catering Academy students to create menus to be served at next year’s Investec Derby Festival (5-6 June 2015), held at Epsom Downs Racecourse.

The initiative has become part of the 2014-15 curriculum for all VRQ Level 2 diploma students at the academy. They will design and be in with a chance to create their menu at this year’s prestigious Investec Derby Festival as part of their qualification. The winners, selected by Investec, will see their menus served within the Festival’s Investec hospitality areas, hosting more than 1,000 guests during the two-day event.

The competition is expected to involve 50 Level 2 students who will have the opportunity to tour the venue and design their bespoke menus in partnership with Jockey Club Catering at Epsom Downs. Each participant will present their ideas to a judging panel, made up of senior Investec representatives and Epsom Down’s chefs, with successful students taking part in a cook-off in the following stage. The winners will be announced in early December 2014, ahead of the event which takes place in June.

Helen Hutchinson, Jockey Club Catering General Manager at Epsom Downs Racecourse, says: “We are committed to working alongside our local community and this is a great opportunity to engage with the next generation. It’s our first time partnering with a local college and we look forward to introducing fresh talent and helping to develop more great chefs into the industry.”

Raymond Van Niekerk, Global Head of Marketing at Investec said, “We are extremely proud of the Investec Derby Festival, it celebrates the can-do spirit, energy and determination that produces real winners. This competition reflects those values, and it was a pleasure to meet the students taking part in this challenge. We can’t wait to see the out of the ordinary results.”

Steve Cannell, Head of the Hospitality & Catering Academy at South Thames College, commented: “Working on such an inventive project lets our students gain valuable understanding of the many sides to catering. Being part of the high-profile Investec Derby Festival will really push our students – it’s exactly the sort of challenge that develops their catering skills and their awareness of the business. We are proud to be able to show off the talent at South Thames and show that the college can work with great partners like the Jockey Club and Investec to deliver unique opportunities for people who have the ambition to succeed.”

Held at Epsom Downs Racecourse, the annual Investec Derby Festival is considered to be the greatest flat race in the world. 2015 will mark the 236th year of the event and expects to attract over 100,000 visitors across the two-days. Investec have committed to sponsor the prestigious event until 2021.   

Jockey Club Catering manages the catering at Epsom Downs Racecourse and is a joint venture between Compass Group UK & Ireland and The Jockey Club. The partnership launched in 2009 with the vision of providing top quality catering, hospitality and service at the racecourses nationwide.

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