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Kendal College students named UK Young Seafood Chefs of the Year

Two young chefs from Kendal College have won the 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition after beating eight other teams in the final, held on Friday (14th) at the Grimsby Institute, Grimsby.

The competition – sponsored by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry– challenges its participants to produce a three-course menu using specially selected sustainable seafood.

Albert Hindson, 19, from Sedbergh, and Sebastian Bloor, 20, from Kendal, both studying for a Level 3 NVQ Professional Cookery in Patisserie and Confectionery at Kendal College, won the day with their menu of lemon sole and spiced cod. They also impressed the judges with an inspiring lobster orzo salad dish in the final’s intermediate course invention test.

Albert and Sebastian had secured their position in the final after progressing through one of the competition’s three regional heats, held last month in Sunderland, Norwich and North Wales.

Aaron Mosedale and Heather Goldie from University College Birmingham took second place in the competition, while Luke Canning and Adam Rosinski from Salford College came third.

Albert and Sebastian’s culinary creations impressed this year’s panel of final judges, which included:

  • Daniel Clifford, two-time winner of the Great British Menu and chef patron of the two Michelin-starred Midsummer House restaurant;
  • Serge Nollent, Product Group Development Manager, Young’s Seafood;
  • Emma Mckeating, Recognised Fishmonger under the Master Fishmonger Standard and Seafish Ambassador;
  • Jak Cresser-Brown, Development Chef, Koppert Cress;
  • Nikki Hawkins, Trade Events Manager, Seafish

Along with prize certificates for their college, a competition trophy and medals, Albert and Sebastian received £500 each, a £1,000 voucher to spend on Russums catering equipment for their college, a Robot-Coupe ‘Robot Cook’ food processor worth approximately £2,500, and a cookbook. The chefs will also jet off to Holland on a Koppert Cress ‘Cressperience’ culinary trip as a further part of their prize.

The chefs’ winning recipes will feature on Seafish’s Seafood Week 2019 website. Seafood Week (October 4th – 11th) encourages people to eat more fish, more often, and showcases the variety, quality and health benefits of seafood available in the UK.

Albert Hindson said: “Taking part in the competition has been incredible, and it’s still sinking in that we’ve won. It’s been great to have been able put everything we’ve learned in the classroom into action. We’ve also had the chance to meet and learn from other chefs from across the country.”

Sebastian Bloor added: “The experience I’ve gained from the competition really helped develop me as a chef. Thank you to our lecturer Yannick Lequitte and all those back home for supporting us through it all.”

Nikki Hawkins, Trade Events Manager, Seafish, said: “The UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition encourages and supports the young chefs who are the future of a thriving seafood industry. It challenges them to consider the importance of sustainability in seafood, and gives them a potentially career-boosting platform to showcase their culinary flair.

“Every year we’re blown-away by what these young chefs bring to the kitchen, and this year was no different. My congratulations to all of those who took part.”

Daniel Clifford, judge and chef patron of Midsummer House, said: “The level of skill and knowledge displayed at the final from each and every one of the young chefs was outstanding. It was a tough one for us to judge, and Albert and Sebastian should be exceptionally proud of their achievement.”

Paul Robinson, Curriculum Manager, Hospitality, at the Grimsby Institute, said: “Albert and Sebastian’s win isn’t just a testament to their talent, but also the hard work, skill and dedication of their lecturers and colleges. My warmest congratulations to the team at Kendal College and to Albert and Sebastian.

“The competition will return again next year, and I’d encourage anyone eligible to consider entering. 2020’s national champion could be you.”

Yannick Lequitte, Chef Lecturer, Kendal College, said: “Albert and Sebastian have really worked hard over the past few month to be able to cook their three dishes to such a high standard. Both of them have progressed from Level 1 to Level 3 Pastry & Confectionary here at Kendal College. They are both working in the industry, applying the skills they have learned and I am so proud of them. Receiving feedback from Daniel Clifford to such a high standard is incredible.

“It is also the first time that a team has won the overall competition as well as best starter, intermediate and main course. They were able to deal with competition pressure and impress the judges with their cooking skills. These are two young men who are becoming excellent chefs with a great future for the industry.”

The UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition was founded in 1996 by tutors and industry specialists of the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education’s Hospitality Department. It is open to all full-time and college-based modern apprentice chefs under the age of 25.

Seafish is the competition’s headline sponsor, with Young’s Seafood, Koppert Cress, Robot-Coupe, Russums, Billingsgate Seafood Training School, Corney & Barrow Wines, The Big Prawn Company and the Oak Ridge Hotel Group – who hosted the competition’s gala dinner and provided accommodation for competitors, lecturers and judges – also providing sponsorship.

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