National Seafood Chef of the Year winner crowned

Two talented young chefs beat off stiff competition from eight college teams to win the much-coveted National Seafood Chef of the Year Competition at Grimsby Institute.

The competition, which is sponsored by Grimsby’s Young’s Seafood and is celebrating its 25th Anniversary year, was delighted to have esteemed celebrity chefs Rick Stein, Mitch Tonks, Nathan Outlaw and Mark Hix heading up the judging panel.

Ben Jackson and Kian Marshall made up the winning team and impressed the judges with their menu of smoked haddock, Cullen skink starter and hake, scallops, asparagus, Jersey Royals and dill main course.

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Kian of Newcastle College said: “We are so shocked; we can’t believe we have won. It’s been amazing to take part and to see everything finally come together. Competitions like this are important, they give so much experience and really help develop your skills.”

Ben Jackson and Kian Marshall receive the winning Young Seafood Chef of the Year trophy at Grimsby Institute judged by top chefs

Ethan King and Hector Kilvington from Exeter College took second place, Mhamed Chemical and Oliver Becker from Westminster Kingsway College came third, and Zain Tahir and Claudiu Ziate from Birmingham College came fourth.

All of them have won a two-week work experience placement at one of the judges’ prestigious restaurants and the winning team takes home a host of prizes including a knife set, salmon knife, a signed cookbook from each chef and trophy.

The competition is renowned across the seafood industry for the experience it gives to participants; providing the young chefs, who compete with a platform to display their knowledge, skills and talent for preparing and cooking seafood from sustainable sources. It has continued to grow over the years, gaining support from a variety of industry partners and building a reputation for excellence. This year’s competition was sponsored by Young’s Seafood, Seafish, Pace, Oak Ridge Group, Rockfish, A Passion to Inspire, First Contact Chefs and the Good Fish Guide.

Chef Judges, from left, Rick Stein, Mark Hix, Mitch Tonks and Nathan Outlaw at the Grimsby Institute Seafood Competition
Chef Judges, from left, Rick Stein, Mark Hix, Mitch Tonks and Nathan Outlaw at the Grimsby Institute Seafood Competition

Paul Robinson, Associate Principal for Commercial Enterprise, said: “The standard this year was the amazing, you could see the teams went that extra mile in their preparation for the final as the standard was exceptional. To have the top four seafood chefs in the UK visit us and on the judging panel made the 25th anniversary competition such a special occasion for all those involved. A huge congratulations to all the teams that took part and a big well done to Newcastle College on taking the title, their menu was excellent.

“I would like to thank all our sponsors but particularly, Young’s Seafood, Seafish, Rockfish and Oakridge as without their continued support and dedication, the competition would not be where it is today.” To find out more about the competition please visit


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