ASPIRING chefs from St Helens College hope to stand the heat of the kitchen, when they compete in a top culinary competition.

Branded ‘Battle of the North West’, the competition forms part of the Business of Food and Drink Festival celebrations, marking the International Festival for Business coming to the region.

The St Helens College students will compete against other catering and hospitality trainees in the inaugural inter-college cook and serve competition at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, on Monday, July 7.

Representing the college will be student chefs Stephanie Bentham, Callum Hurle, Lucy Allcock, Dean Evans and Katie Webster, alongside hospitality students Sophie King, Stephanie Birchall, Miranda James and Katie Donnelly.

They will produce a four-course meal, which the hospitality students will formally serve up, under the watchful eyes of the competition judges made up of leading industry chefs and examiners.

The students will also receive advice from Paul Askew, chef at the London Carriage Works Restaurant.

The winners of the cooking and serving contest will be crowned at a gala dinner at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.

The dinner will be hosted by celebrity chef Simon Rimmer and John Williams, executive chef of The Ritz on Friday, July 11.

“The competition provides students with a unique opportunity to meet and work alongside industry professionals and gain real work experience,” said Terry Lavin, head of catering and hospitality at St Helens College.