Teenage chefs from Sunderland heading to finals of national seafood competition

Brandon Green, 18, andKatie Falconer, 17, have secured a place in thefinal of the 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition.
Brandon Green, 18, andKatie Falconer, 17, have secured a place in thefinal of the 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition.

Two teenage chefs from Sunderland are on their way to compete in the finals of a national seafood competition.

Sunderland College students Brandon Green, 18, and Katie Falconer, 17, have secured a place in the final of the 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition after winning the regional heat held at the college.

The competition sponsored by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, and run by The Grimsby Institute, offers its participants a platform to demonstrate their flair and skills using sustainable seafood.

It is open to all full-time and college based modern apprentice chefs under 25.

Brandon is studying for a VRQ Level 3 in Advanced Professional Cookery, while Katie Falconer is studying for an NVQ Level 2 in Professional Cookery at Sunderland College.

They have secured one of nine places in the competition’s grand final, held at The Grimsby Institute, Grimsby, on Friday, June 14.

The pair earned their position by preparing a three-course menu of pan-fried fillet of lemon sole, almond milk poached hake and roast fillet of cod, all made using sustainably-sourced seafood.

The Sunderland heat was judged by a panel of professionals that included Richard Ord Jnr of Colmans Seafood Temple, South Shields, Robert Latimer, MD of Latimer’s Seafood Ltd, Sunderland, and Jamie Clews, Robot-Coupe, and was headed-up by Ben Bartlett, Master Craft Guild of Chefs and Seafish Chef Ambassador.

And now they will compete against eight other teams of two in front of judges at the final,with the panel including Daniel Clifford, chef patron of two-Michelin starred Midsummer House restaurant, Cambridge, and two-time winner of BBC Two’s Great British Menu.

Nikki Hawkins, Trade Events Manager, Seafish, said: “Founded in 1996, the UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year continues to uncover incredible talent.

"The standard of cooking in this heat has been exceptional, with each team impressing us with the skill and creativity in their dishes.

“This competition is highly regarded in the seafood industry. It offers ambitious young chefs the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and confidence in working with a range of sustainable seafood, and the chance to potentially boost their future careers.

"Today’s winners will now have their sights firmly set on the final in Grimsby, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they have to offer the judges.”

The winning team of the 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition will receive a Koppert Cress ‘Cressperience’ trip to Holland, along with a Robot-Coupe Robot Cook food processor.

They will also receive £500 per person, a £1,000 voucher that can be spent on Russums catering equipment for their college, a cookbook, a competition trophy, a competition medal and prize certificates.

The winning recipes will also feature on the Seafood Week 2019 website.

Paul Robinson, Curriculum Manager, Hospitality, at The Grimsby Institute, added: “Competitions like this are not only a great way for colleges to show off the skills that their students have been developing and shine a spotlight on the next generation of chefing talent, but also to highlight their students’ knowledge and awareness of sustainable seafood practices.”