Mikolaj, who is studying level 2 culinary skills and professional food and beverage service at Warrington & Vale Royal College, narrowly missed out on taking first place, with judges stating how close it was between gold and silver.
Mikolaj, a former Cardinal Newman Catholic High School pupil, is no stranger to competitions, having taken home two bronze medal in the knife skills section of the Welsh Nationals earlier this year.
“It feels great to come second in the Commis Chef of the Year competition. I was third in my last competition so it’s great to move up to second – hopefully next year I will get first place,” said Mikolaj.
“I was confident going into the competition because of what I have learned during my time at Warrington & Vale Royal College – the course has given me the skills and preparation I needed.”
Mikolaj will be hoping to continue on his medal-winning journey when he takes part in the UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year in May, alongside fellow Warrington & Vale Royal College student Dan Jones.
Mikolaj was not the only student from the college to come back from Monday’s ACF competition with an award, with level 3 food and beverage service supervision student Danny Bates also taking home a merit in the ‘Restaurant 4 Skills Competition’.
Danny, from Runcorn, said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the competition – it was a different experience and my first competition so I’m happy to have come home with a merit. I’d say that what I’ve learned on the course definitely helped to prepare me for the competition.”
Both Mikolaj and Danny were joined at the competition by catering tutor Paul Ratcliffe.
He said: “The standards produced at the competition, particularly in the Commis Chef of the Year contest, were of an extremely high standard. It was great to see both Mikolaj and Danny putting the skills they have gained at Warrington & Vale Royal College to the test – they did an amazing job and should be very proud of themselves. They represented the department, and the college, in an extremely professional manner.”
Andy Macleod, Curriculum Manager for Hospitality & Catering, added: “This is yet another example of the fantastic work we do at Warrington & Vale Royal College in preparing our students for industry. Mikolaj and Danny now both have prestigious competitions to put on their CVs that will look amazing when it comes to looking for careers in catering and hospitality.
“As a department, we are passionate about developing our students and ensuring they have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our students deserve teachers who will invest time and resources into this and that’s exactly what Paul has done in preparing Mikolaj for the Commis Chef of the Year competition.
“It is always great to see the rewards of such investment – Mikolaj and Danny’s success in the competition has been the talk of the department and is already inspiring our other students to strive for the same success.”
To find out more about the opportunities available at Warrington & Vale Royal College, visit wvr.ac.uk or come to our open evening on Wednesday 27th June at our Winsford campus.