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Former York College hospitality apprentice James Goodwin has won the title ‘Independent School Caterer of the Year 2014’, in recognition of his outstanding talents in the school meals sector.

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James is currently the Chef Manager at The Mount School in York and at the prestigious awards ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, hosted by EDUcatering magazine, he said: “Winning this title is the greatest vote of confidence I could wish for.”

James came to the College as an apprentice with the Royal York Hotel, studying an NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Food Preparation & Cooking. He then completed an NVQ Level 4 in Kitchen Larder Specialist and was an Advanced Apprentice with The Three Hares in Bilbrough. After studying with the Catering and Hospitality Division James left York College in 2000, returning to study a PTTLS course, achieving his qualification in 2013.

James has been Head Chef at different locations, including an 18 month experience in the Caribbean which came about through his contacts at the College. He has worked in different types of catering industries from outside caterers to restaurants, hotels to schools and has also worked part-time as a tutor at York College. During his career he has had success in numerous competitions including a silver medal at Guernsey, the winner of ‘Best Festival Dish’ at York Festival of Food and ‘Best Dish’ at a North Yorkshire Council award sponsored by McCain. He has worked in schools for the past eight years and has the pleasure of innovating and cooking great food to an International student base.

James says: “I studied day release for nearly 4 years to achieve my NVQ Level 4 and I thoroughly enjoyed my college experience, gaining valuable knowledge from being classically trained by experienced tutors. I also made lifelong friends and this helps me to network with fellow chefs and their businesses. I believe anything you achieve is a combination of many factors and all my experiences in life have helped me be the person I am. Being at York College for four years most definitely contributes to my success. I still see the my college tutors as people I can get in touch with for further development.”

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