Time is running out to enter the Young Seafood Chef of theYear competition 2017

30 March 2017

The quest to find the next generation of top culinary talent is back with entries for the prestigious UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year 2017 competition, open until Friday 31 March.

Young Seafood Chef of the Year is the only seafood competition of its kind is open to full-time, college based, modern apprentice chefs across the UK who are under the age of 25.

The event is highly regarded across the industry for the valuable experience it allows contestants to gain and for the calibre of judges it attracts. The 2017 panel includes some of the most prominent and well-known chefs in the UK today.

Nathan Outlaw who runs his self-titled two Michelin star restaurant in Cornwall has recently announced his involvement alongside celebrity barbeque chef, Ben Bartlett, gastronomic genius, Franck Pontais and Young's executive development chef, Serge Nollent. The line-up is completed by Nikki Hawkins, events manager at competition sponsor Seafish, who will also be putting the contestants through their paces.

This year's judging panel will be looking for talented young chefs capable of demonstrating flair, skill, ability and understanding when it comes to preparing and cooking with seafood from sustainable sources.

Competition organisers, Seafish and the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education (GIFHE), are encouraging catering colleges and their budding student chefs to enter in teams of two by downloading an application pack and submitting it for consideration by this Friday, 31 March.

There is a host of fantastic prizes up for grabs including £500 for each team member, a Thermomix TM31 food processor and a £1,000 voucher for the winning college to spend on Russums catering equipment. As an added bonus this year the winners will also be hosted by Koppert Cress, global growers of Micro-Greens, for a four day culinary experience.

Teams are challenged with submitting a creative three course menu, using the species outlined in the competition rules, in preparation for the paper judging to take place ahead of the regional heats.

Those selected for the regional heats to be held in Llandrillo, Norwich and Sunderland this May, will be required to cook their menu for the judges within a three hour timeframe.

Three winning teams from each region will then go through to the final on Tuesday 13 June in Grimsby, where they will be asked to create a new three course meal using species specifically chosen for them.

Nikki Hawkins, events manager at Seafish and judge at this year's Young Seafood Chef competition, said:

"The UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition is an excellent platform for young chefs to showcase their talent and receive valuable feedback from industry experts. This type of exposure gives students a great advantage and stands them in good stead as they set out in their careers. 

"It promotes the use of sustainable species and attracts competitors from all over the country. I'd encourage student chefs who are passionate about working with fish to enter the competition and make the most of such a fantastic opportunity."

In recent years, the competition has enjoyed support from top UK chefs, including Jean-Christophe Novelli, Tom Aitkens, Mitch Tonks and Atul Kochhar.

To find out more about the competition or to submit an entry, please visit www.ukseafood.co.uk.

Key competition dates:

  • 19/05/17 - Regional Heat to be held at Sunderland College
  • 12/05/17 - Regional Heat to be held at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, North Wales
  • 26/05/17 - Regional Heat to be held at City College Norwich
  • 13/06/17 - The Grand Final will be held at the Grimsby Institute University Centre, Lincolnshire.