Students from across Yorkshire yesterday stepped up for the finals of the region’s Matchfit catering and hospitality-skills contests at Bradford College.

Teams from colleges in Bradford, Sheffield, Hull, Grimsby and Scarborough came together in bread-making and team-cook competitions, aiming to impress a panel of local industry judges.

There was also a task for travel and tourism students, who were asked to plan a dream holiday for a family of four.

Matchfit, hosted by staff from Bradford College, has seen more than 1,000 young people participate in the project over the past year.

It is designed to motivate and embed a competitive ethos.

Over 120 Matchfit skills competitions will have taken place by the end of March across 11 different competition hosts from across the region.

Iain McKenna, Matchfit project support officer, said: “The competitions are a great opportunity for all the students.

“We stretch the learners and give them the confidence and skills but it is about them progressing and pushing themselves to the next level.”

Matthew Benson-Smith, consultant to Bradford College’s hospitality department, said taking part would stand students in “fantastic” stead for their futures.

“It puts a little pressure on them – but that is what the working world is all about.”

Robert Ramsden, of Bradford-based catering suppliers Delifresh, was one of the judges in the team-cook competition, where colleges had to create a three-course menu using local, seasonal ingredients.

He said: “Some people are really standing out by using Yorkshire produce but each team are doing something completely different, which is encouraging.”

Bradley Wall, an 18-year-old Level 2 practical cooking student, was part of the Bradford College team that cooked an Eastern-themed menu of crispy duck, fish and tiramasu.

“There was a bit of pressure on us but that just added to the excitement,” he said.

Students from Sheffield College triumphed in both catering events, with Bradford College finishing third in the team cook and second in travel and tourism.