National Seafood Chef of the Year Competition Invite, all you need to know about the competition rules, entry, accommodation and travel costs.
The National Seafood Chef of the Year competition is in its 25th Anniversary Year and we are delighted once again to invite you to enter. The competition which is in association with The Grimsby Institute is going to be bigger and better than ever with the legends of the seafood industry coming together to judge this year’s final. We are delighted to announce the best lineup of judges yet for the 25th anniversary year who will test our student chef skills in preparation, cooking, finishing and presenting the wide range of selected seafood species selected for this year’s competition. Seafood chef legends Mark Hix, Nathan Outlaw, Mitch Tonks, Ben Bartlett and Rick Stein will join us on Friday 10th June 2022 to make up our 25th anniversary judging panel.
This year’s competition is a celebration of the event in which we are promoting the best of British landed seafood. A tip for teams is to ensure that the produce is respected within the preparation and cooking processes to get the very best out of the chosen seafood per course.
Note: some small amendments have been made for this year’s competition to focus on preparation and filleting skills (see Rules).
Entries:- This initial entry judging will be assessed by a panel of industry appointed judges. By using the species named on the entry forms, and with the support of the competition rules; teams can submit their menus online, in preparation for the paper judging to take place. Successful teams will be notified by email and go forward to round two. Entries must be in by Friday 1st April 2022.
Culinary Skills: The successful teams, will then go through to the culinary skills judging, which will be held at one of three appointed UK regional hosting colleges (regional heats). The first 30 minutes of the competition will focus on filleting and preparation (Seafood mise en place) before your team goes on to create the menu submitted in Round One. These will take place in May 2022 when the three highest scoring teams will be chosen from each regional heat to go on to compete at the Grand Final on Friday 10th June 2022.
Round Three: The Final
At the final, the nine teams will join us at the Grimsby institute on Thursday 9th June to drop off equipment before attending the finalist’s dinner in the evening which is held at the Brackenborough Hotel where they will receive chefs jackets and aprons for the following days final.
We have a new social media account set up to capture the competition over this year, we will be launching updates and news, sharing weekly prize updates and information on guest judges. Please follow our page for updates.
For the past few years, we have successfully introduced these study tours for the competing teams’ college lecturers. From the time the student teams enter the kitchen (10 am – 2 pm) to compete, their lecturers are no longer allowed to assist, watch or support their students.
We will take the lecturers to visit seafood businesses, local to the regional college hosting each heat, where up to 10 lecturers will be given the opportunity to see processes within that business, often take part in an activity and hopefully accompanied by a local journalist to promote the event. A guest from each hosting college will also be invited along. This is an opportunity for participating colleges to engage with seafood businesses, which may in future be able to do further study trips for students, take on work placements or even have apprenticeship schemes.
The trip is of no cost to the participants, but invaluable and don’t forget your camera!
Teams going through to the finals in Grimsby will be given an ‘invention test’ to replace the intermediate course, all successful teams will receive a list of ingredients and a brief during the dinner the evening before the final. Teams will be tasked to come up with a dish using the ingredients with less than 24 hours notice for the intermediate course.
Alfred Enderby Traditional Smoked Haddock, Non-dyed fillets 250g (approx.)
Whole Dover Sole 350g (approx.), see page 436 on the Larousse Gastronomique for the Sole Dugléré recipe. The teams must produce this recipe, however, its presentation is entirely the team’s interpretation.
Choose from the below, either one or more species to demonstrate your skills;
For the main course you have an option, use one or multiple species from the above list. Again your choice and this dish are entirely for the team to show off their skills in flavor profile and dish construction. The creation of this dish is entirely for you to decide.
1. No other seafood products apart from the species provided or fish bones/shells for stock are to be used in the competition.
2. Seafood specified is only to be used on the course it is named for (excluding bones or shells) i.e. you can only use Haddock and/or Cod on the main course, but no other cross overs are allowed.
3. 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. Prior to the start of the competition, the judges will visit each work station to ensure that no prior preparation has taken place.
Part One: Filleting (Example of scoring and judging)
|Quality of produce||25||20||15||10||5|
|Waste on bones||25||20||15||10||5|
|Overall Filleting competence||25||20||15||10||5|
06/05/22 – Regional Heat to be held at Sunderland College
13/05/22 – Regional Heat to be held at City College Norwich
20/05/22 – Regional Heat to be held at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, North Wales
10/06/22 – The Grand Final will be held at the Grimsby Institute University Centre, North East Lincolnshire.
Annually we would usually publish an amazing list of prizes that have included study trips, cash prizes for winning teams, knives, books, medals and certificates. This year we are keeping the list of prizes top-secret for release over social media so keep a watchful eye on our Instagram page .
Entries, when entering the competition please ensure you include the below:
- Jacket sizes
- The volume of species required (highlight in the recipe, i.e. In KG, G’s)
- Recipes to include method, ingredients and costings
- One copy of the presentation menu for submission, if successful and gain a place at the heats then each team will need to bring with them six copies of the menu.
The challenge is to prepare, cook and present your submitted menu for six covers.
Of the six covers:
- one will be presented to the panel of judges, on time, for tasting and scoring;
- four are served to invited VIP guests, for comments;
- and one will be displayed for photography, guests and all teams to view.
Teams are required to bring all their own commodities with them to the heats, excluding the specific seafood species for each course as this is provided by our sponsors. All named products will be provided at each heat and the final. The invention test plates will be provided at the final.
Please ensure that entries highlight the required species amount they require as a total for ease of ordering in preparation for the heats. At each of the heats, three teams will be awarded a place at the final, meaning nine teams will compete in June 2022. Teams are scored on teamwork, hygiene, preparation and cooking (see guidelines for an example of filleting criteria). Use the timings provided for the competition found within the pack. Remember, respect the produce, don’t over complicate and… Good Luck
The choice of seafood will be restricted to the specific species listed in the table below. It is hoped that 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.
The below table is to be completed and returned with an entry pack, as this is what you will receive at the regional heat if you’re successful with your paper entry.
Starter – Alfred Enderby Traditional Smoked Haddock, Non-dyed fillets 250g (approx.) Or, Cod Loin 180g (approx.)
Intermediate – Whole Dover Sole 350g (approx.), see page 436 on the Larousse Gastronomique for the Sole Dugléré recipe. The teams must produce this recipe, however, its presentation is entirely the team’s interpretation.
Main Course – Choose from the below, either one or more species to demonstrate your skills;
Each team has to present three courses for six people using the seafood in each category.
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 hard copies of their written menu
- one for the judging table, to be scored out of 10
- one for the gallery viewing table
- 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, design and presentation of the menus. Costing lists are to highlight weights and costs of 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 used (this can be highlighted as of no cost within your menu costing’s).
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 apprentice.
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. Prior to the start of the competition, the judges will visit each workstation 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 this 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, then judges will call teams to start the competition (preparation, cooking, finishing and presenting).
The language of the dishes is not at stake, but the 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 the sustainability of species used in the competition.
Each team will prepare, cook and present each of their three courses 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 and photography purposes.
- The remaining four finished plates to invited guests, for dining and comments
- All dishes are 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 hard copies of the menu for the guests and viewing tables (Six copies of your menu are required in the 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 10th June 2022 at the Grimsby Institute, the winning team will be announced at the award ceremony at approximately 3 pm immediately afterwards.
The regional menus are based on the original paper entry submission for both the regional and the Grand Final. The competition finishes at approximately 4 pm.
All entries are to be submitted to the following address by Friday 1st April 2022:
National Seafood Chef of the Year,
Hospitality Competition Co-ordinator,
The Grimsby Institute,
North East Lincolnshire,
Each entry submitted will include:
A starter, an intermediate and a main course – ALL using fish species specified in the table attached.
A summary of ingredient costs for each dish, including the method of production for each dish.
Judging will take place in April 2022 and those teams selected for the regional heats will be notified by telephone and email and given a heat date. A maximum of nine teams will then be selected to compete at each regional heat, with three winners going through from each regional heat to attend the Grand Final in June 2022.
|08.40||Teams arrive – Welcome from Host and refreshments|
|09.00||The draw of Team numbers and assignment of helpers|
(1 chef and 2 front of house).
|09.10||Meet the judges, then proceed to kitchens.|
|09.20||Teams allowed access to a kitchen for setting up|
|09.30||Teams 1 – 4 start 30-minute seafood mise en place|
then commence on judges command
|10.00||Teams 5 – 8 start 30-minute seafood mise en place|
then commence on judges command
|Teams 1 – 4||Teams 5 – 8|
|Enter the kitchen||09.20||09.50|
|Seafood Mise En Place||09:30||10:00|
|Present main course||13.15||13.45|
|15.30||Judges feedback to competitors|
1. Entrants must be under 25 and enrolled on either a full-time course or be a college-based modern apprentice.
2. Entry forms to be submitted to Paul Robinson – no later than Friday 1st April 2022.
National Seafood Chef of the Year,
Hospitality Competition Co-ordinator,
The Grimsby Institute,
North East Lincolnshire,
3. Entry pack to include the following:
- Jacket sizes
- Weights of species
- Recipes (to include method and ingredients)
- Menu and Costings
- One copy of the presentation menu (if successful in round 1, then six 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. The dishes submitted will be the ones produced on the day of the competition.
8. 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.
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 (Friday 10th June 2022). If any further accommodation is required, then this will be paid for by the competitors. Any other tutors wishing to join the team will have to pay for an additional room.
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 money for your team.