Billingsgate Seafood School names best young fish chef –

Billingsgate Seafood School names best young fish chef Published:  11 December, 2012

Will Budden BSS Winner

Billingsgate Seafood School has announced the winner of its first annual Billingsgate School Trainee Chef of the Year Award, this year sponsored by Billingsgate fish wholesale business Fawsitt Fish.

Westminster Kingsway College third year Professional Chef Diploma student Will Budden took top honours with his Symphony of Seafood dish, comprising seabass, scallops and Alaska sockeye salmon. The fish were accompanied by pickled cauliflower, buttered kale, glazed ham with a butternut squash and yellow pepper sauce.

The runner up was Josh Dallaway, also a third year student, with his dish of seaweed-glazed scallops with rye choux dumplings, baby vegetables and sea herbs with a dill beurre blanc.

Five young chefs were chosen from 12 entrants, all in the second and third year of the full-time Professional Chef Diploma at Westminster Kingsway College, to prepare their fish dishes for a panel of judges.

CJ Jackson, CEO, Billingsgate Seafood School, said: “This is a competition that the school has been wanting to launch for some time now and our thanks goes to Fawsitt Fish for its support in enabling it to take place this year. It was an incredibly hard competition to judge; the calibre of finalists was excellent and they cooked the most fantastic selection of dishes.”

The one stipulation for the final was that the seafood they used must appear on the list of finalists in the Billingsgate School Sustainable Fish & Shellfish Award 2012, being held on the same day (21 November, 2012).

These products were Norwegian Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified cod, king scallops, MSC herring, British Tilapia produced by The Fish Company, Alaska salmon and Anglesey Sea Bass.

The judging panel comprised CJ Jackson; Kirsty Grieve, the market’s business development manager; Peter Stag, owner of Fawsitt Fish; Julian Cotterell, chairman of the school’s board; and Steve Pini, executive head chef with the Fishmongers’ Company.

Peter Stag said: “On behalf of the judges, our congratulations go to all five finalists, who all clearly have a fantastic future in front of them. They treated the judges to a fantastic, creative lunch that showcased these sustainable seafood products.”

As well as scooping the competition trophy, Will Budden won a knife skills course at the school, a knife roll and a three-day session working with Steve Pini at Fishmongers’ Company preparing a livery dinner.

Speaking at the presentation of the award, Jose Souto, chef lecturer in culinary arts at Westminster Kingsway College, explained the strong emphasis that the college places on instructing its students on sourcing sustainable seafood.

“The college sees sustainability as something that is very important. We believe that it is in our interest and in the interests of everyone else that our chefs are well trained and well versed in it. We have a policy that our students understand the background of sustainability issues, where their food comes from, how it is put together. We also ensure that they are confident talking about the products that they put in front of consumers. I believe this is the way forward for all colleges,” he said.

CJ Jackson said she was delighted with the positive feedback she received from all those involved in this year’s award and said plans for the second Billingsgate School Trainee Chef of the Year Award are already well underway.

“We believe that with the appropriate energy and support it will go on to become a very important part of the culinary calendar,” she said.