Two students from the Independent Living Skills (ILS) department at Gower College Swansea amazed judges with their cookery skills at Bridgend College when six finalists battled for victory at the World Skills All-Wales Final. They were required to prepare, cook and present two plates of Mediterranean salad to judges as part of the Independent Cooking Competition.
Gareth Williams (pictured on the right) was awarded Gold for his butterfly inspired salad, while Adam Humphreys gained Bronze for his platter, which resembled a flower.
Mandy Heskins, Curriculum Leader for Life Skills, and Michelle Williams, the students' personal tutor, were delighted with the results. “It was such an emotional experience”, said Mandy, “they were fantastic. We are so proud of them both”.
Michelle commented on how professional the students were while working in an unfamiliar environment: “They adapted quickly to the different surroundings and presented beautiful salads to the judges. Today has been the icing on the cake.”
The competition aimed to promote independence, while focusing on health and safety, food hygiene and healthy eating. "To compete, candidates must have been working towards an Entry 1 or Entry 2 level qualification", explained Mark Clement, Learning Area Manager for ILS. "The results highlight the commitment of the students and the dedication of the staff within the department. Well done to everyone involved!"
The ILS department offers a range of full and part time courses, which are tailored to students with learning difficulties, specialist education needs and/or behavioural requirements.