UK Seafood Competition and Rules

The choice of seafood will be restricted to the specific species listed in the table below. It is hoped this will encourage creativity and imagination through craft skills, rather than the use of exotic species and, in addition, raise awareness of sustainability issues amongst entrants to the catering profession.

Each team has to present three courses for six people using the seafood in each category.


Whole MSC Plaice, 300g to 600g, North Sea/Atlantic

Whole MSC Lemon Sole, 300g t 600g, North Sea/Atlantic


Whole Hake, 1-2kg, Scottish

Main Course

Whole fresh head on Haddock, Icelandic, average 1kg fish

Whole fresh head on Cod, Icelandic, average 1kg fish

  1. A total food cost of £15 per person is allowed using market values at the time of entry. All other items needed, including garnishes, should be calculated within the £90 available.
  2. Teams must provide their dishes as per the set times. Please see the Heat Itinerary.
  3. Each team should produce SIX copies of their written menu (one for the judging table to be scored out of 10; one for the gallery viewing table; and four for the customer table). Marks will be awarded this year by the judges for any educational and informative content relating to the description of dishes, competing student chefs, allergen awareness, and design and presentation of the menus. Costing lists are to highlight weights and costs of the species and this is to be provided when submitting the entry.
  4. Any fish bones that are required, are to be used from the waste of the species (this can be highlighted as of no cost within your menu costings).
  5. The seafood stated for each course is the species to use for the nominated course and cannot be used for any other course (excluding the fish bones or shells).
  6. No additional seafood products can be used, other than the ones stipulated in the species list.
  7. Entrants must be under 25 on enrolment to their course and studying toward either a full-time course or be a college based modern apprentices.
  8. Teams must use the selection of cress within the ‘English mix and Baby Sakura Mix’ as a minimum of Koppert Cress products, used within either the starter or main course. You can use a product in both dishes if you choose, or you can even use more than one cress/product on the same dish. The mix holds the following selection: Atsina Cress Rock Chive, Sakura Cress, Borage Cress, Tahoon Cress, Brocco Cress, Vene Cress, and Shiso Purple. In addition to this, the team will also be given Salty Fingers and Zallotti Blossum to use.
  9. Note: Blenders used in the competition heat and final MUST be of Robot Coupe brand
  10. Note: Cress products used as only the varieties stipulated by Koppert Cress. NO other cress producer can be used.

Please note:

As this competition is fundamentally based upon the judging of craft skills, NO prior preparation, portioning or weighing out of any ingredient is allowed. Students may be disqualified for pre prep or pre portioning.

Students may be disqualified for pre-prep or pre-portioning. Prior to the start of the competition the judges will visit each work station to ensure that no prior preparation has taken place.

Prior to commencing the competition, each team will be allowed 30 minutes in order to complete seafood mise en place. If this time is exceeded no further judging will take place against these skills. If the competitors use the 30 minutes and complete all seafood mise en place, then they can use this time to familiarise themselves with the kitchen and/or finish further mise en place.

Once all the 30 minutes mise en place time is up, judges will call teams to start the competition (preparation, cooking, finishing and presenting).

The language of the dishes is not at stake, but translation must be supplied for those menus entered in a foreign language. Marks will be awarded to teams that can show the judges they have a basic knowledge and understanding of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and sustainability of species used in the competition.

Each team will prepare, cook and present each of their three dishes as follows:

  • One finished plate to a panel of judges, for scoring and tasting.
  • One finished plate to be reserved for competing teams , judges and media, to view at the end of the competition, and to remain in place after the competition for feedback purposes.
  • The remaining four finished plates to invited guests, for dining and comments.
  • All dishes to be presented as if they were to be served in a restaurant.
  • Plates and flats for service should be brought to the competition together with six copies of menu for the guest and viewing tables (Six copies of your menu are required in preparation of the regional heat).

Following the judging of paper entries by the competition’s review judges, teams will be invited to compete at the regional heats which are held at various venues across the UK.

At each of the heats three teams will be chosen to go forward to the Grand Final which will be held on Friday 7th June 2019 at the Grimsby Institute.

All finalists will be invited to a masterclass with a guest Chef on Thursday 6th June  starting at 2pm, followed in the evening by the Competition Gala Dinner at the Brackenborough Hotel near Louth, Lincolnshire.

After spending the day competing the winner of the 2019 UK  Young Seafood Chef of the Year will be announced within the award ceremony at approximately 3pm.

The regional menus are based on the original paper entry submission for both the regional and the Grand Final. The competition finishes at approximately 4pm.

1. Entrants must be under 25 and enrolled onto either a full-time course or be a college based modern apprentices.

2. Entry forms to be submitted to Paul Robinson – Hospitality Competition Office, UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year, The Grimsby Institute, Grimsby no later than Monday 1st April 2019.

Paul Robinson
Hospitality Competition Office (UKYSCOTY)
The Grimsby Institute
Nuns’ Corner

DN34 5BQ

3.Entry pack to include the following:

  • Jacket sizes
  • Weights of species
  • Recipes (to include method and ingredients)
  • Menu and Costings
  • Weights of species
  • 1 copy of the presentation menu (if successful in round 1, then 6 copies must be provided at the heat)


4.The organisers will not accept responsibility for entries arriving later than the closing date.

5.The decision of the selection and judging panels will be final.

6.No prior correspondence with the judging panel can take place. To do so will result in that teams’ withdrawal from the competition.

7.Food costs will remain within the maximum amount allowed of £90.

8.The dishes submitted will be the ones produced on the day of the competition.

9.The organisers reserve the right to use recipes and other material for promotional purposes.

10.Successful teams that reach the final may change the presentation, but not the ingredients of their dishes.

All entries are to be submitted to the following address by Monday 1st April 2019:

Paul Robinson, Hospitality Competition Office (UKYSCOTY), The Grimsby Institute, Nuns’ Corner, Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire. DN34 5BQ

Each entry submitted will include:
A starter, an intermediate and a main course – ALL using fish species specified in the table attached. Plus what cress is included (if any per starter or main dish)

A summary of ingredient costs for each dish, including the method of production for each dish.

Judging (paper entries) will take place in April 2019 and those teams selected for the regional heats will be notified by telephone and email. A maximum of nine teams will then be selected to compete at each regional heat, with three winners going through from each heat to attend the Grand Final in June 2019.

Grand Final Prizes – 2019

This year’s finalist team will be congratulated by their college receiving a MicroMix sponsored by Robot Coupe.

1st prize

  • Koppert Cress (Cressperience), a study trip for both team members and their mentor to the Koppertcress Culinary Adventure discovering the movement of the Dutch cuisine. The prize consists of a three-day culinary experience including a visit to the Markthal in Rotterdam; a full visit of greenhouses and tasting garden; a ‘Cressperience’ tasting menu with 14 dishes and a presentation given by a starred restaurant chef.
  • Robot Coupe Robot Cook food processor (worth over £2,000)
  • £1000 Russums voucher (for the College)
  • £500 per team member
  • Cookbook
  • Competition Trophy
  • Seafood Competition Medal
  • Prize Certificates awarded to the college and team members
  • Winning recipes to feature on Seafood Week 2019 website

2nd prize

  • £300 Russums voucher (for the College)
  • £100 per team member
  • Cookbook
  • Luxury knife bag per team member
  • Seafood Competition Medal
  • Prize Certificates awarded to the college and team members

3rd prize

  • £200 Russums voucher (for the College)
  • £100 per team member
  • Global knife per team member
  • Cookbook
  • Seafood Competition Medal
  • Prize Certificates awarded to the college and team members

4th prize

  • 100 Russums voucher (for the College)
  • £100 per team member
  • Cookbook
  • Seafood Competition Medal
  • Prize Certificates awarded to the college and team members

For those successful teams travelling to the Grand Final in Grimsby, arrangements for accommodation and pre-final dinner will be organised by The Grimsby Institute. Drinks consumed at dinner or at the hotel will be the responsibility of the team.

Furthermore, if for any reason the hotel at which the team is staying has a justifiable complaint against a team, that team will be disqualified from the final of the competition and charged the full price of their accommodation and food.

The Grimsby Institute will provide one night stay per team of two and one tutor on the night before the Grand Final (7th June 2019). If any further accommodation is required then this will be paid for by the competitors.

Many college teams competing in competitions around the UK are now raising their own funds through sponsorship to assist in travel and accommodation costs.

You may have a local supplier that may want to sponsor your college team.

A fundraiser event at your college is another idea. Why not hold an event to try out your menus on guests with students’ parents and local sponsors attending. Try a raffle on the evening, where prizes are auctioned instead of selling tickets, it can create more and more money for your team.

Download The Application Pack