Lake District college wins UK seafood contest –

Lake District college wins UK seafood contest Published:  17 June, 2008

Mitch Tonks

KENDAL College in Cumbria produced a highly innovative menu to carry off the UK Seafood Championship title this year.

The Lake District centre beat off stiff competition from seven other UK colleges for the finals which were held at the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education.

It was their dinner selection of baked encrusted cod, followed by Alaskan pollack chowder and a main course of poached halibut in red wine, which won over the judges, who included Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell, top seafood chef Mitchell Tonks from the Fishworks restaurant chain and Steve Norton, chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants’ Association.

Once again, the contestants were given the task of creating imaginative dishes using some of the less popular species of fish.

All the fish ingredients were MSC approved and supplied by Young’s Seafood who has been main sponsor of the competition since it began about six years ago.

Mitchell Tonks said he was important that young chefs understood seafood beyond the plate on the table and were aware of sustainable issues.

Steve Norton added that in future years he would like to see more whole fish used in recipes rather than shellfish or small fillets.

Jo Daubney, the new appointed human resource director of Young’s told the audience that some fantastic dishes had been created during the entire competition and Young’s was proud to be associated with the event.

Nikki Hawkins of Seafish added that standards and skills improved with each year the contest was held.

Meanwhile, plans to make the Humber world centre of seafood excellence were outlined at the event.

Professor Daniel Khan, principal of the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, said he had the dream, the determination and the money to achieve that mission.

He said the Grimsby Institute had travelled the globe in the past two years to deliver the Humber message and to attract new fish supplies to the region.

Targets had included Indonesia, Pakistan, Fiji and the Gulf States, all areas with seafood to offer local factories.

He praised Young’s Seafood, the main sponsor of the competition, for its stalwart support over the last few years and added that the Grimsby Institute has doing its bit for the industry by making its training as practical as possible and by looking at all aspects of seafood from training to production.

He also disclosed that a few years ago he successfully resisted an attempt to move the contest to London.

“I was determined that Grimsby should be the centre of the universe for seafood.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.