Aspiring Northumberland College chefs Scott Anderson and Faith Sharples have netted a place in the Grand Final of the highly acclaimed Seafood Chef of the Year.
The duo, who are studying Advanced Professional Cookery, competed against teams representing Grimsby Institute, Newcastle College, Middlesbrough College and Sunderland College in the Eastern Heat at City Campus in Sunderland in the hope of progressing to the showpiece event in June.
Scott and Faith impressed expert judges Nikki Hawkins, Richard Colman Ord and Ben Bartlett with their culinary skills and three-course menu to finish in the top three and progress to the final at Grimsby Institute.
Scott said: “I was nervous to begin with but once I started cooking things just seemed to click. I am excited to go down to Grimsby and compete nationally against other colleges in such a prestigious competition.”
Faith added: “I am relieved we got through to the Grand Final yet excited and nervous for what’s to come. I couldn’t believe it when we heard Northumberland College’s name being called out by the judges.”
The Seafood Chef of the Year competition is now in its 25th year and aims to inspire young chefs in training while encouraging their creativity and developing their skills and confidence in the kitchen.
It is open to all full-time and college-based apprentice chefs and not only gives them the chance to demonstrate their talent, but also valuable industry experience.
Northumberland College will join Newcastle College and Sunderland College in North East Lincolnshire where they will meet the winners of the other regional finals which take place at Norwich College and Coleg Lllandrillo Cymru later this month.
The successful teams will cook a three-course menu that will include an innovation test which will challenge them to produce an intermediate course using a specified list of ingredients. Adding to the tension, renowned chef Rick Stein is among the finale’s star-studded panel of judges alongside Mitch Tonks, Mark Hix and Nathan Outlaw.
Catering Lecturer, Adam Hampson, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of my students. They have worked really hard giving up their own time to come in to college to practice for the competition.
“I can’t wait to see how they will perform in Grimsby and very excited to see what they do next. This is an amazing opportunity for personal development and meeting some high-profile chefs such as Rick Stein.”
Northumberland College menu:
First course: Brandade of Smoked Haddock, Wilted Spinach, Quail’s Egg, White Wine, Cream & Watercress
Intermediate: Sole Dugléré
Third course: Tandoori Spiced Monkfish Tail, Mussels, Coconut, Curry Oil, Lime Romanesco Pickle, Pilau
Northumberland College offers a wide range of Professional Cookery and Hospitality qualifications and some of the best facilities in the region including state-of-the-art kitchens and equipment and the 40-cover Gallery Restaurant at Ashington Campus.
We are the largest further education provider in Northumberland with campuses throughout the county.
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