A Greenock chef has cooked his way to the finals of a national competition.
Jamie Cracknell, a student at West College Scotland, is in the running to became Young Seafood Chef of the year next month.
The 21-year-old impressed judges at the regional heat in North Wales.
Jamie told the Greenock Telegraph: “I am very happy. I’ve really enjoyed the whole experience so far.”
The student chef juggles his course HNC in professional cookery at the Paisley campus with working at the prestigious Mar Hall Hotel in Bishopton.
Jamie and his fellow student and work colleague Sagar Massey,19, had to produce a three-course seafood menu including a starter, intermediate and main course in two and a half hours.
He said: “It was very stressful, six dishes of each. One set for judges and one for a table of people. It was also in a kitchen that I had never worked in before.”
The former Clydeview Academy pupil relishes his job at Mar Hall, combining his time there for five days a week with two days at college.
He said: “It’s given me lots of hours of experience and helps to keep it fresh. I want to progress in my job and hopefully travel. I’ve worked in Denmark before, I want to experience new cultures and new foods, that’s my goal.”
The final will take place on June 15 2018 at the Grimsby Institute and the dream team Jamie and Sagar will compete against eight other teams to win their share of the prizes
Each team will again have to impress the judging panel of seafood professionals during the finale. The panel includes Ben Bartlett, Master Craft Guild of Chefs, Franck Pontais, Chef author, Nikki Hawkins of Seafish, George McIvor, Master Chefs of Great Britain and Galton Blackiston, owner of Michelin star restaurant, Morston Hall, in Norfolk.
Nikki Hawkins, of sponsor Seafish said:
“The level of talent displayed at the competition this year has been outstanding. The UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition is designed to encourage young chefs to think about cooking with sustainable seafood, and to see the innovative ways they used seafood in their dishes was fantastic.”
“The quality of skills and cooking techniques shown throughout the heats made it an extremely tough decision but we are excited to see what the finals will bring.”
The winning team will win a Robot Cook Professional Heating Food Processor from Robot Coupe, £500 each, a £1,000 voucher for Russum’s catering equipment for their college, the competition trophy, a seafood competition medal and prize certificates.
All winning recipes will feature on the Seafood Week 2018 website.
Pictured from L-R is Nikki Hawkins, Jamie Cracknell, Sagar Massey, George McIvor and Ben Bartlett.
This article and picture appeared in the Greenock Telegraph on 20 May 2018.