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Student chef who swapped Nepal for Darlington wins regional college cookery competition
A CATERING student who left the mountains of Nepal for a life in the North-East is celebrating victory in an inter-college cook-off.
Darlington College student Man Thapa was crowned top chef in an inter-college competition involving trainees from across the region.
The 20-year-old captured the attention of judges with his chicken chasseur, which he had to prepare from a basket of ingredients in just 90 minutes.
Eight colleges were involved in the competition including Gateshead and Middlesbrough, but Mr Thapa had previously wowed judges with his pan-fried sea bass to win the elimination round against New College Durham.
Originally from Bokhara in Nepal, he moved three-and-a-half years ago to Darlington where his family settled after his father retired from the Ghurkhas.
He is studying an NVQ Level 3 in hospitality and catering at the college and hopes one day to be head chef at one of the top hotels in London.
Mr Thapa, who also works at Darlington’s Tapas Bar, said he was thrilled to have won.
“My family are just so proud of my achievement,” he said. “I love Darlington, it is such a beautiful place and this is my dream college as the tutors are so great.”
Darlington College tutor Donna Joyce said: “Competition standards were exceptionally high and Man has done incredibly well to win this hard-fought contest.
“He performs so well in the kitchen under pressure and his passion for cooking comes through in the quality of the food he presents.”
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