STUDENTS served up a slice of deliciousness for homeless people during the annual cooking contest at Swindon College.

It was the seventh year the competition has been staged, but it was the first they were challenged to bake cake.

Nine teams of three cooked three course meals, while others made and decorated Victoria sponges to be handed over to Threshold Housing.

Ian Robinson is a member of The Rotary Club of Swindon Thamesdown and helps run the event.

He said: “I think it encourages youngsters to get involved, I was in engineering and young people would come through. To help them develop is something I got a great deal of pleasure from.

“Hopefully this helps them to grow and gives them a better chance. And I think they enjoy taking part in it. Putting them under a bit of pressure helps them prepare for when they start working life.”

Chef lecturer Sian Vockins has been involved in running the contest since it started.

She explained the brief for the competition is changed each year.

And this year it was decided the starter had to be made with cauliflower and bacon.

The main course had be vegetarian and the desert needed to be pastry.

Sian told the Adver: “We decided on the main’s brief to be what it is because vegetarianism and veganism is on the up.

“The Victoria sponge has been quite open, they’ve just been told to add garnish, filling of their choice and as many tiers as they’d like.

“This is great to have on their CV’s because they’re doing something for the community. It allows them to be creative, they have to be responsible with the cost and ordering the food.”

The judges included development chefs at the college Steven Shore and Andrew Scott, along with Steve Davidson and Chris Ockwell who are members of the Rotary Club.

Rutuja Wali, 21, who led the winning team of budding chefs, said: “This is the third time I’ve won this competition and I’m very happy to have won again.

“I didn’t expect to win again, over the years I’ve cooked up some of my mum and dad's recipes for the competition. Cooking makes me really happy and it’s all about the spices, I love working with them. And I blend English and Indian foods together.”

This year she made cauliflower and bacon with bacon jam and a curry sauce for the starter. The main was burger and chips followed by a tart for desert.