A huge slice of success for college’s Star Bakers
Hospitality students Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga and Sanjam Nagpal saw their success catapult them from training kitchen to TV for the hit series Bake Off: The Professionals
The former hospitality students, who went on to carve out careers as professional chefs, impressed Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden with their culinary prowess after being revealed as contestants.
22-year-old Exose and 20-year-old Sanjam, graduated from the college in 2016 with Level 3 diplomas in Pastry and Confectionery. Exose went onto work at James Martin Manchester’s casino restaurant while Sanjam got a job as Pastry Chef at the Dorchester Hotel in London.
Exose, who practised working with sugar for the show under the guidance of his former tutors in Trafford College’s training kitchens, wowed judges with his sugar work and chocolate bon bons.
He said: “It was unreal to actually be in something we have watched on television, but so useful because we had feedback from two of the top pastry chefs in the country.
“We owe a lot to our lecturers at Trafford College for sharing their skills, knowledge and expertise.”
Sanjam, added: “I would recommend anyone with a passion for pastry and baking to do a course at Trafford College – who knows where you’ll end up? Maybe like me, moving from Manchester to London, and working at one of the top hotels in the country!
The medals roll in for Trafford College students at WorldSkills UK LIVE
Trafford College Group students have been named among the best in the UK after winning a gold and two silver medals at WorldSkills UK LIVE.
Taking place from 21 – 23 November at the NEC, Birmingham, WorldSkills UK LIVE is the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeship and careers event and is free to attend. At the heart of the event are the National Finals of the WorldSkills UK Competitions, which are run in 70 different skills across industries including Digital, Technology, Engineering, Construction, and Hospitality.
Over 500 of the UK’s top apprentices and learners took part in the National Finals at WorldSkills UK LIVE.
A total of eight Trafford College Group (Stockport College and Trafford College) Students competed at the event in four different competition areas including confectionary, nail technology, health and social care, and personal training.
Flying the flag for nail technology were students Stephanie Kelly and Joely McGahey from Stockport College who were elated to walk away with a gold and silver medal respectively, while Trafford College confectionary student Ben Metcalfe, also scooped a silver medal in his field.
Designed by industry experts, the WorldSkills UK Competitions equip apprentices and learners with the world-class skills needed to help UK businesses better compete globally.
Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “Congratulations to Stephanie, Joely and Ben for such a fantastic achievement. The competition was fierce and the standards very high. These students' hard work and dedication has been rewarded and we at WorldSkills UK salute you.”
Director of Adult Learning, Joan Scott, added, "All of our finalists worked so hard, performing tasks under pressure with thousands of visitors looking on. They were all excellent ambassadors for the Trafford College Group. This was an experience they will never forget and one which will help them in their career pathway as many employers are impressed by the dedication, commitment, resilience and skill needed to compete at this level.
"To win a medal at these competitions is truly an amazing result; these students are the best in their skill area across the whole of the UK. Some of the medal winners may be selected for the squad representing Team UK in China in 2021.
Second TV showdown for former Trafford College trainee
A former Trafford College trainee chef is making his second appearance on our television screens this year as one of the few up-and-coming culinary artists to be offered a place on MasterChef: The Professionals.
Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga studied a professional chef NVQ in the training kitchens of Trafford College’s award-winning Aspire restaurant from 2015 to 2016.
The 22-year-old starred in Bake Off: The Professionals earlier this year with fellow student Sanjam Nagpal, who is now working at London’s prestigious The Dorchester hotel.
Exose from Chorlton said: “I’m so happy I applied to MasterChef: The Professionals. I love new perspectives on my cooking and have been looking forward to seeing it on air. In this competition, I am on my own, so coming up with all the dishes and ideas was such an exciting challenge!”
In BBC Two’s MasterChef: The Professionals, six chefs battle it out in each episode under the watchful gaze of Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing and renowned chef Monica Galetti as well as seasoned presenter Gregg Wallace, through a series of challenges, including timed skills tests and impromptu cookery initiatives.
“MasterChef: The Professionals is a great opportunity to apply the larder skills of fish and meat prep as well as the pastry skills I’ve learned at College and push beyond these. Luckily at Trafford College I got experience of induction cookers like the ones they use on MasterChef: The Professionals. Although I will wish I’ve got tutors whispering in my ears, this competition will give me independence, and help me find out what kind of chef I can be.”
As well as working at James Martin’s Manchester Casino Restaurant, Exose also runs his own business Granted Cakes, which specialises in birthdays and weddings.
Watch Exose in MasterChef: The Professionals on BBC Two, or catch up on BBCiplayer.