THE students behind a host of hospitality events have been rewarded for their endeavours after months of slaving over hot stoves.

Scores of budding chefs received special awards at a Darlington College of Technology awards ceremony.

The Most Outstanding Modern Apprentice of the Year accolade went to Sarah-Jane Seddon, of Leeming Bar, near Bedale.

The 20-year-old works at RAF Leeming, but is also studying an NVQ Level 2 in food preparation at the college.

She said: "I was really shocked to win the award, I had no idea and do feel very proud of myself. I would love to be a hotel manager or even own a hotel, but until then I am happy to be a pastry chef."

Sam Nutter, of Eggleston, in Teesdale, walked away with the top prize - a trip to Venice to visit the Electrolux factory.

The 19-year-old works at the Rose and Crown Hotel, in Romaldkirk, but is also taking a foundation degree in culinary arts at the college.

He said: "This will really whet my appetite as what I really want to do is work abroad."

Prizes totalling more than £2,000 were handed out at the ceremony to mark all of the winning students' achievements.