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Two West London College Students Will Compete at the Regional Heats of the Seafood Chef of the Year 2023

Left-right: Jahmi Freeman-Wright holding his West London College Excellence Award 2022 and Laurie Ballard holding awards he won at International Salon Culinaire

Jahmi Freeman-Wright (19) and Laurie Ballard (21) two talented Professional Cookery Level 3 students,  have been chosen to compete at the highly esteemed National Seafood Chef of Year 2023 regional heat. The competition, which is open to all full-time and college-based modern apprentice chefs, will be held at City College Norwich on 18 May 2023 and showcases the best of the best in seafood cooking. 

Jahmi and Laurie were selected from a pool of highly skilled competitors, which is a testament to their hard work and dedication to their craft. Their task is to create imaginative and delicious dishes using mackerel or haddock as a starter, langoustines and/or mussels as an intermediate, and hake, sea bass or Cornish sole as a main dish.

Laurie is an apprentice chef at the RAF Club and Jahmi is a commis chef at Red Carnation Hotels in Mayfair.

Both Jahmi and Laurie are thrilled to have been chosen to participate in this prestigious competition. Jahmi said: “Laurie and I are going to set aside some time so that I can visit him at the RAF Club and we can practise our dishes, and then Laurie might come to my workplace as well.” 

Laurie added, “It’s an honour to have been chosen to compete at such a high level. I am excited to see what I can achieve and to learn from the experience.”

The National Seafood Chef of the Year 2023 regional heats will challenge the students to create original and innovative seafood dishes, showcasing their culinary expertise and creativity. 

With overnight travel and overnight hotel stays for each heat, entry can be costly and the West London College Hospitality and Catering department put on fundraising events throughout the year so that their students can afford to go.

Denise Charles, Head of Hospitality and Catering at West London College, said: “The competition is a fantastic opportunity for Jahmi and Laurie to gain experience and exposure in the culinary industry, and they are both determined to make the most of this incredible opportunity.

“The judges will be looking for chefs who can combine technique, taste, and presentation to create a winning dish to go through to the Grand Final – and I know Jahmi and Laurie have got what it takes.”

No stranger to the competition, Jahmi competed at the Grand Final in May last year with his then partner Sharnah Harper.

Jahmi Freeman-Wright Competing at the National Sea Food Chef of the Year last year

The National Seafood Chef of the Year competition is run in association with The Grimsby Institute and is in its 26th year. The Grand Final will be held at the Grimsby Institute University Centre, North East Lincolnshire on 9 June.

If you are interested in a course in Hospitality and Catering at West London College visit the link below to browse and apply

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