The search for the next generation of top culinary talent is back on – as the prestigious UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year 2018 competition opens for entries.

Catering colleges from across the country have until Thursday, April 12 to enter their best young chefs for the competition, which culminates in a grand final at Grimsby Institute in June.

The seafood contest is the only one of its kind open to full-time, college based, modern apprentice chefs across the UK, who are under the age of 25.

It is highly regarded across the industry for the valuable experience it allows contestants to gain and for the calibre of judges it attracts.

Prominent chefs including Nathan Outlaw, Cyrus Todiwala, Aiden Byrne, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Tom Aitkens have all supported the contest in previous years, with another top name due to join the judging panel for 2018.

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.

Grimsby Institute, which organises the contest alongside Seafish, is encouraging young chefs to enter in teams of two, to be in with a chance of netting prizes including a Koppert Cress study experience, Robot Cook Professional heating Food Processor from Robot – Coupe, £1,000 Russums Voucher for their college and £500 per winning student.

Curriculum manager Paul Robinson said: “Chefs from around the country have supported this competition due to its underlying message to industry regarding the importance of using and understanding sustainable seafood practices.

“Previous winners, college tutors and competitors have described this competition as an essential date on the hospitality calendar, which provides all young chefs with a platform to demonstrate their flair, understanding, skill and ability using seafood from sustainable sources.”

This year’s choice of seafood will be restricted to a whole fresh herring (not gutted) or Danish or fresh whole plaice (300-500g) for the starter, fresh Scottish salmon fillets for intermediate and hake fillets skin on (250-1,000g) or fresh monkfish tail (500-1,000g) for the main course.

Each team has to create three courses for six people using the seafood in each category.

All entries should be submitted, by Thursday April 12, to:

Paul Robinson, UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year, Competition Co-ordinator,
Hospitality,
The Grimsby Institute,
Nuns Corner,
Grimsby,
N E Lincs,
DN34 5BQ.

Each submission must include a three course menu using the specified fish species and a summary of ingredient costs for each dish, including the method of production for each dish.

Paper judging will take place in April, 2018, before regional heats at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru on May 4, Sunderland College on May 18 and City College Norwich on May 25.

The final will take place at Grimsby Institute on June 15.

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