Winners of Nestlé Professional’s 2024 Toque d’Or® announced

Nestlé Professional has revealed the winners of the 36th edition of the Toque d’Or competition, a renowned event in the hospitality industry. Geraldine Sierra Torres from Westminster Kingsway College and Jasmine Ferdinando from York College have emerged as champions after the Grand Finals Week, which took place from 21st to 25th April.

The Grand Finals featured a variety of challenges centered on sustainability. Over five days, the 12 finalists showcased their skills in tasks ranging from menu creation with sustainable ingredients to food foraging and learning about regenerative agriculture.

The competitors were judged by an esteemed panel led by Michelin-star chef Tommy Banks, with contributions from his culinary partner Tom Bell and Nestlé’s executive chef Emmanuel Lorieux. The front-of-house (FOH) judging panel included Jupiter Humphrey-Bishop, 2023 Gold Service Scholarship winner, along with Nestlé Professional’s master barista Christos Sotiros, Nespresso customer service manager Vincenzo D’Aniello, and cocktail expert Nicolas Medicamento.

Former Toque d’Or competitors, now serving as ambassadors and judges, also provided their expertise. The week’s events were held at notable locations, including a fine dining challenge at D&D London’s ‘Blueprint’ on the south bank of the River Thames.

The finalists participated in a range of activities, such as the ‘farm-to-fork’ challenge at Full Circle Farms, where they learned about regenerative agriculture, and the Starbucks® coffee challenge at the Starbucks Support Centre in Chiswick, where they crafted iced beverages tailored for Gen Z consumers.

Additional activities included a cocktail-making masterclass from Nicolas Medicamento and a visit to London’s Borough Market. The week culminated in a fine dining event where finalists prepared a menu curated by Tommy Banks for 60 guests, featuring dishes like lamb with asparagus and mint, red mullet with Jerusalem artichoke, and a mushroom and filo tart.

Tommy Banks praised the finalists for their dedication and creativity, expressing confidence in their future contributions to the hospitality industry. “It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with the finalists throughout what was a transformative, week-long learning experience. Witnessing their dedication and creativity during the Fine Dining Challenge was truly inspiring. As they move forward beyond the competition, I have every confidence that they will continue to flourish and make significant contributions to the hospitality industry.”

Jupiter Humphrey-Bishop also commended the participants for their talent and passion. “I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the participants. Your dedication, talent, and passion have shone throughout this journey. As you move forward in your careers, remember to stay true to your passion and to never stop pushing the boundaries. I wish each and every one of you the very best in your future endeavours. May your journey in hospitality continue to be filled with joy, growth, and endless opportunities to make a positive impact.”

Katya Simmons, managing director of Nestlé Professional UK&I, highlighted the competition’s role in nurturing young talent and emphasized the importance of sustainability and collaboration with industry partners. “Yet again, this year’s Toque d’Or competition has demonstrated just how much young talent there is in hospitality. We enjoyed watching all the participants as they progressed through key stages of the competition and extend our warmest congratulations to those who advanced and competed in Grand Finals Week. It’s no mean feat and they should all be proud to have made it this far, in what is an incredible achievement.”

“The essence of this competition lies in our unwavering commitment to fostering the next generation of hospitality professionals, through close collaboration with the industry. It has been truly inspiring to partner with other pioneering businesses on crucial topics such as sustainability and regenerative agriculture, ensuring we set the new standard for emerging talent and a benchmark for success. A huge thank you to all who have contributed to making this Grand Finals Week, and indeed the entire Toque d’Or event, a resounding success. And another huge congratulations to this year’s winners Geraldine and Jasmine.”

Geraldine Sierra Torres and Jasmine Ferdinando, the winners, shared their excitement and gratitude. Geraldine expressed her joy and reflected on her journey from cooking with her grandmother to winning the competition. “This is such a surreal moment for me. Ever since I was a child, I remember cooking with my grandmother in the kitchen at home. She inspired me to pursue my passion for cooking, which has ultimately led me to where I am today. While I’m incredibly proud of my achievement, I think all of the finalists are deserving champions. As a group, we’ve spent so much time together and created some amazing memories. It’s great to have made so many friends. I want to thank everyone involved in making this competition so special; I’ve been able to grow so much both from a personal and professional perspective. I’m going to enjoy this moment first, and then look forward to the prize trip to Switzerland!”

Jasmine acknowledged the support from her college lecturer and looked forward to applying her newfound skills in her career. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but when I first entered the competition I never thought I would get this far. I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity, to meet so many amazing people and to develop great friendships along the way. I can’t wait to put the skills and knowledge that I’ve been able to gain over the last few months to the test, as I get ready to start my career. I’d like to thank my college lecturer Suzanne for supporting me and giving me the confidence to really push myself and step out of my comfort zone. Looking ahead, there’s so much to be excited about, but first I want to soak in all the fun and adventure that awaits us in Switzerland!”

The winners will embark on a trip to Switzerland, where they will visit Nestlé headquarters, receive culinary training from Nestlé’s executive chef, and explore the Nestlé chocolate factory, among other experiences.


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Hannah Larvin
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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