Winners Announced in first heat of the Young Seafood Chef of the Year 2019

Young chefs from North Hertfordshire College, University of the West of London and Eastleigh College have secured a place in the final of the 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition after winning their regional heat on Friday 10th of May at City College, Norwich.

Nicole Watt (18) and Bethany Grimshaw (18) have secured one of nine places in the competition’s grand final. Nicole and Bethany earned their position by preparing a three-course menu of lemon sole ceviche, poached hake and paprika and chorizo dusted cod, all made using sustainably-sourced seafood.

Michael Worth (20) and James Tumilty (17) also made it through to the final with a menu of butter poached plaice, oven roasted fillet of hake and pan fried fillet of cod. The third team of young chefs to make it to the grand final event on 14th June were Dominykas Salvaitis (20) and Timothy Hodgson (22) from University of West London who prepared Atlantic sole, sake cured Scottish hake and Icelandic cod Wellington

The 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition, sponsored by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, and run by The Grimsby Institute, offers its participants a platform to demonstrate their flair and skills using sustainable seafood. The competition is open to all full-time and college based modern apprentice chefs under 25.

The finalists will now compete against eight other teams of two in front of judges at the final, to be held at The Grimsby Institute, Grimsby, on the 14th of June. This year’s final judging panel includes Daniel Clifford, chef patron of two-Michelin starred Midsummer House restaurant, Cambridge, and two-time winner of BBC Two’s Great British Menu.

Two further heats to select the competition’s remaining finalists will be held at Sunderland College and Coleg Llandrillo, North Wales, later this month. The Norwich heat was judged by a panel of professionals that included Serge Nollent, Product Group Development Manager, Young’s Seafood, and Emma Mckeating, Recognised Fishmonger under the Master Fishmonger Standard, and was headed-up by Ben Bartlett, Master Craft Guild of Chefs and Seafish Chef Ambassador.

Nikki Hawkins, Trade Events Manager, Seafish, said: “Founded in 1996, the UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year continues to uncover incredible talent. The standard of cooking in this heat has been exceptional, with each team impressing us with the culinary skill and creativity in their dishes.

This competition is highly regarded in the seafood industry. It offers ambitious young chefs the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and confidence in working with a range of sustainable seafood, and the chance to potentially boost their future careers. Today’s winners will now have their sights firmly set on the final in Grimsby, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they have to offer the judges.

Paul Robinson, Curriculum Manager, Hospitality, at The Grimsby Institute, added: “The road to the UK Young Seafood Chef final is always hard-fought, and an invaluable learning experience for all of the young chefs involved.

Competitions like this are not only a great way for colleges to show off the skills that their students have been developing and shine a spotlight on the next generation of chefing talent, but also to highlight their students’ knowledge and awareness of sustainable seafood practices.