UK - Colleges from around the country have been taking part in the 19th Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition, sponsored by Seafish, in order to win the esteemed title of ‘UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year’. This year the prize went to University College Birmingham.
The judging panel, comprising of Nikki Hawkins, Seafish, Serge Nolent, Young’s, Franck Pontais, Food Creations and guest judge Aiden Byrne, had the challenging task of identifying the UK’s next major talents.
Aiden Byrne, said: “I was impressed by how skilled and creative the students are, presenting plate after plate of delicious seafood. I have recently judged other national chef awards and some of the dishes created by these young chefs would not be out of place alongside the dishes created by well-established professional chefs.”
The competing teams were all finalists from their regional heats, which have been taking place around the UK in recent months. As their last test, the teams were tasked with recreating the dish that got them to the final, presenting it to VIP diners and judges, and preparing a set of courses for display.
Nikki Hawkins, Events Manager at Seafish, said: “Once again, the standard of competition for the title of UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year has been astounding. I believe that the chefs this year demonstrated the highest level of skill that we have ever seen in this competition.
“Getting more people eating more seafood more often is a key objective for Seafish and with more than £3 billion spent on out of home consumption in the UK, it is vital that our chefs of the future are able to prepare, cook and serve a great seafood dish, every time. From being in a position where I was lucky enough to sample and judge the food, I have every confidence that these chefs will help us to achieve our goal.”
The winning team were awarded a Thermomix blender to take back to their college and as an additional accolade, they have been asked to help create, prepare and present this year’s World Seafood Congress gala dinner to 280 guests including esteemed guest speaker Sir Ranulph Fiennes, in September.
Winners, Bozhidar Ivanov and Tim Jones from University College Birmingham said: “From start to finish, we have loved being a part of the competition. As a team, we worked well together, complementing one another’s styles and strengths in the kitchen. Winning the competition has been amazing and the added bonus of getting to work on the gala dinner for this year’s World Seafood Congress is awesome.”
Nine colleges made it to the final of the competition with Grimsby College, South Essex College and Kendell College placing second, third and fourth respectively.
Other colleges to make it to the final were Gloucestershire College, Coleg Llandrillo, West College Scotland, Selby College and Croydon College.
TheFishSite News Desk