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Chef Daniel is cream of the crop

PUBLISHED: 13:11 15 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:04 30 June 2010

Star student: Daniel Gibson

Star student: Daniel Gibson

TRAINEE chef Daniel Gibson beat off stiff competition from Britain's top catering students to scoop a silver medal at Britain's premier showcase for the catering industry.

TRAINEE chef Daniel Gibson beat off stiff competition from Britain's top catering students to scoop a silver medal at Britain's premier showcase for the catering industry.

The cool-headed Great Yarmouth College student competed against the clock to prepare a dish involving high-level skills.

In front of a large audience, he filleted a sole and prepared and presented sole bonne femme, using techniques learned in the college kitchens.

Former Caister High School pupil Daniel, 17, spent weeks preparing for the competition and was determined to fly the flag for Yarmouth.

Head of centre for service industries Kevin Bayes said: “He really was a star. He was very nervous, but he pulled out all the stops to be graded silver. We are all thrilled to bits.

“He was competing against students from the big colleges where they have hundreds of high quality ambitious students.

“Staff were delighted with his achievement, how he stuck to the criteria and timed and presented his work perfectly.

Daniel was at college practicing until 10.30pm the night before the competition before setting off for London at 5.30am the next day.

Students are now being offered workshops to prepare them for future catering competitions.

Daniel started his catering and hospitality course as a 14-year-old and knew straightway it was a career he wanted to follow.

Tutors spotted his talent early on and, he is learning at the elbow of two of the best culinary talents in Norfolk - restaurateur, chef and food writer Richard Hughes and his head chef Richard Knights.

Daniel impressed Mr Hughes and Mr Knights so much when he completed work experience at Mr Hughes' Lavender House restaurant in Brundall they offered him a part-time job.

College and restaurant hours add up to a 75-hour working week - he cycles to Yarmouth station to take the train to Brundall and catches the last train home, but loves every minute of his work.

Daniel said: “It is an investment in my future. There is such a good atmosphere at work in the kitchen - I go to work and enjoy what I am doing - everyone has the same passion for what they're doing.”

When not working he manages to volunteer as crew on Caister Lifeboat.

Daniel also expanded his skills by working for two months at a hotel kitchen in France.

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