Skip to main content

NVQ Level 3 Professional Cookery student, Laura Ribiero, had the time of her life at an all-expenses paid, three-day trip to Venice, for the UNOX Combi Challenge national competition, where she came second in the competition out of ten participating UK colleges. 

Laura had to demonstrate her technical skills, innovative approach and adaptability to cook a two-course menu using chicken as a main course, and a dessert of her choice. Both dishes had to use a secret ingredient in each dish, which was given to them at the time of cooking.  Laura said: “I found it exciting; it was very inspiring to be in Venice with that kind of challenge with a secret ingredient to come up with something on the spot. I came second which felt good.”

She continued: “One of the things that stood out about the experience was the limited cooking facilities and space. We had to showcase the state-of-the-art ovens in all aspects of the menu.  We are more used to using more stoves and space to work with.  Also, the ingredients were all in Italian! But all kitchens are different and so it was a very good experience.  Venice itself was lovely and we managed to do some sightseeing on Friday, including a boat ride across to an island to sample the food and organic wines in a Michelin-star restaurant.  We also managed a few hours wandering around St Mark’s Square and seeing the famous bridges and canals.”

Laura had the opportunity to network with students and tutors from colleges across the UK. In total, over 45 colleges from the UK participated. Her lecturer, Mark Alderman said: “It was an amazing experience for us to take a student on such a wonderful trip, and to see how Laura adapted to the challenges of cooking in a totally different environment and being a fantastic ambassador for our area. All the other tutors commented on how calm and professional Laura was. It was Laura’s first-ever trip on a plane, which made it even more special.” We are looking forward to next year's competition!

If you are interested in our Level 3 Cookery or similar, you can search all of our cookery courses here:

Laura in the Cooking Competition

Laura in the National Cooking Competition in Venice