Young Seafood Chef Of The Year crowned in tough battle at Grimsby Institute
BATTLE lines were drawn in the kitchens of the Grimsby Institute as some of Britain's most talented young chefs fought for the title of Young Seafood Chef Of The Year.
Eight teams from across the country cooked up a storm, whipping up a selection of dishes aimed at making the panel of catering industry judges' mouths water.
University College Birmingham was crowned the overall victor, with chefs Katie Lewis, 19, and Marco Sannio, 21, saying they were overjoyed to win £500 each and £1,000 worth of cookery equipment for the college – as well as a trophy and a meal cooked by judge Mitch Tonks.
Mr Sannio said: "We always hoped to win but there was never a real way of knowing what the judges were thinking.
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"We are both very pessimistic, but we did go in thinking we had a chance.
"I was very nervous but we managed to create a langoustine composition for our first dish, saffron poached salmon for our second dish and potato scale plaice for the final dish.
"We were happy with how it turned out and we are glad the judges liked it.
"The general rules for cooking fish are not to mess around with it too much and keep it simple.
"My favourite fish has to be sea bream, but I am fond of lobster also.
"We want to thank everyone that helped us win, as well as the judges."
There were three judges on the day, who had to take extra time to decide the overall winner.
Award-winning chef Mitch Tonks, who has three restaurants, said: "The standard was high and the overall decision was the toughest it has ever been.
"The main course by the winners was by far the best dish in the competition, it was near perfection.
"The hygiene and professionalism was of the highest standard.
"The winners had a clear grasp of the industry and what is expected.
"Everyone involved here has the potential to go really far in the industry.
"If I was to give one piece of advice to everyone here, it would be to read more books and eat at different restaurants to get an absolute grounding of the industry."