The search is on for the UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year

04 May 2018

The Grimsby Institute has launched its annual UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition in a bid to encourage more young chefs to cook with seafood.

Sponsored by Seafish, the public body that supports the £6b UK seafood industry, the competition has again attracted the top talent the nation's culinary colleges have to offer, receiving a high calibre of entries from colleges across the UK. 

The young chefs, all under the age of 25, will be competing in three regional heats in Coleg Llandrillo Cymru (04 May), Sunderland College (18 May) and City College Norwich (25 May). They will be working in teams of two to produce a three-course seafood menu using sustainably sourced seafood.

Each team will be judged by a panel of seafood professionals including Ben Bartlett, Master Craft Guild of Chefs; Franck Pontais, Chef author; Nikki Hawkins of Seafish and George McIvor, Master Chefs of Great Britain.

The entrants will be whittled down to just nine teams that will take part in the grand finale at the Grimsby Institute on Friday 15 June. The winning team will then be crowned UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year.

Nikki Hawkins, Seafish said: "The UK Young Seafood Chef of Year competition is an extremely important event for the seafood industry. It encourages the future chefs of the UK to think about innovative ways we can be cooking with sustainable seafood.

"To receive such a high calibre of entrants this year is hugely encouraging. It's a fantastic opportunity for these young chefs to showcase their talents on a national platform and gain first-hand feedback from industry experts.

Paul Robinson, Curriculum Manager, Hospitality at The Grimsby Institute said: "The experience of competitions like this will help these young chefs develop new skills. It's invaluable for providing them with experience that will help them with their future careers in the catering industry.

"I wish all entrants the best of luck and look forward to seeing what exciting dishes they come up with during the competition."

The winning team will win a Robot Cook Professional Heating Food Processor from Robot Coupe, £500 each, a £1,000 voucher for Russums catering equipment for their college, the competition trophy, a seafood competition medal and prize certificates. All winning recipes will also feature on the Seafood Week 2018 website. 

Seafish is the main sponsor of the event with Young's Seafood supplying the seafood, Koppert Cress donating a prize study trip to Holland and Oak Ridge Hotel Group providing accommodation for judges, lecturers and competitors. 

The UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year Competition was founded in 1996 by tutors and industry specialists of the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education's Hospitality Department.