Young chefs set for top seafood contest –

Young chefs set for top seafood contest Published:  22 February, 2007

THE time is approaching for the UK’s budding young chefs to test their culinary skills in the National Seafood Championship. Catering students from across the country will be preparing for the competition, organised by the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education, with Young’s Bluecrest, Seafish and the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association.

The championship is open to students enrolled on full-time catering courses or college-based modern apprentices at colleges in Great Britain. Apart from encouraging students to develop their creative skills the competition aims to create an awareness of the opportunities that exist using lesser-known fish species in the UK, and in particular this year the importance of sustainable fish stocks.

The competition has gone from strength to strength since its conception. In the past entrants had almost free reign over the type of sea fish used to make the three required courses, with the only specification being that the fish had to be an under utilised species.

This year, however, the competition is set to become more difficult as the students will have to create their dishes from a list of only ten MSC certified seafood species in the interests of promoting the use of sustainable sources.

Each of the teams, consisting of two student chefs, will be asked to prepare three fish dishes for six covers. The teams’ menus must include a soup, a starter, and a main course using an sea fish from the designated MSC approved list and the total food cost should be no more than £10 per cover.

The grand final will once again be held at The Grimsby Institute, where a panel of industry judges including Mitchell Tonks, founder of Fishworks, will deliberate on the fine cuisine presented before them.

This years lead judge, Mitchell Tonks co-founded Fishworks, and two of his restaurants in Marylebone and Chiswick were named ‘Best Fish Restaurant’ in the ITV London Restaurant Awards 2005, and nominated for ‘Best Food Chain’ by top restaurant critic Terry Durack, in The Independent on Sunday, November 2005. Mr Tonks also presided over the competition as lead judge last year.

Key contest dates:

Entries returned by Monday February 26, 2007

Northern Heat – Monday April 23 – Norwich City College

Southern Heat – Monday April 30 – Blackpool & Fylde College

Grand Final – Monday June 18 – The Grimsby Institute