Search for young seafood chef of the year

THE quest to find the next generation of top culinary talent is back for another year with entries for the UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year 2016 competition open until Thursday, March 31.
Now in its seventeenth year, the only seafood competition of its kind is open to full-time, college based modern apprentice chefs across the UK, under the age of 25.
The 2016 panel includes some of the most prominent and well-known chefs in the UK today.
Cyrus Todiwala, famed for his Pan-Asian cuisine, has recently announced his involvement alongside celebrity barbeque chef, Ben Bartlett, noted authority on Italian food, Valentina Harris, and gastronomic genius, Franck Pontais.
Serge Nollent, executive development chef at Young’s and Nikki Hawkins, events manager at Seafish, will also be putting the contestants through their paces.
This year’s judging panel will be looking for talented young chefs capable of demonstrating flair, skill, ability and understanding when it comes to preparing and cooking with seafood from sustainable sources.
Competition organisers Seafish and the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education (GIFHE), are encouraging catering colleges and their budding student chefs to enter in teams of two.
Bradlee Cullen, 21, was awarded second prize in last year’s competition and alongside fellow student and teammate Niamh Fitzpatrick, he was praised by judges for serving up a creative and flavoursome three course menu in the final round.
The chef from Grimsby has since relocated to Florida and now works at the prestigious Harbour Ridge Yacht and Country Club, an exclusive resort known for its extensive menu.
He said: ‘The Young Seafood Chef competition was fantastic, I took so much from it. It gave me a new found confidence in my own ability and assured me that I was capable of creating my own dishes from scratch.
‘I really feel that had I not entered the competition I wouldn’t be where I am now. The fact that I’m able to show that I can not only cook under pressure but can serve up tasty and inspired plates of food has allowed me to stand out from the crowd.
‘My advice to this year’s contestants would be to think about flavour first and foremost. Considering how salty, bitter, sweet and sour flavours play off each other will make your dishes stand out.’
Picture: Bradlee Cullen and Niamh Fitzpatrick