A GREENOCK man has been crowned Young Seafood Chef of the year.
Jamie Cracknell and his partner Sagar Massey battled it out against eight other teams to produce a three-course meal using sustainably sourced seafood at a national competition hosted by the Grimsby Institute.
Jamie, 21, of Glamis Place, is studying for an HNC in professional cookery alongside Sagar, 19, at West College Scotland and is thrilled to collect such a prestigious prize to put on his CV.
He told the Telegraph: “It’s amazing. It was really hard work but it’s paid off and we are reaping the rewards now.
“I was quite composed because I had a qualifier two months before it.”
The pair cooked up a menu of pickled herring with parsnip cream, radish and apple dashi, a new ‘invention test’ dish using tiger prawns, and poached monkfish tail in an olive crumb with monkfish scampi.
This tickled the tastebuds of the expert judging panel.
Jamie, who works at the luxury Mar Hall hotel with Sagar, who comes from Paisley, said: “I just want to try to progress as far as I can in the industry and work in England and abroad.
“Winning the title definitely helps my career and towards my CV. It gives me more confidence.
“The competition was really tough and I’m so proud we were able to deliver in the final. I’d like to say a huge thanks to my tutor, Chris Watson, and to my friends and family for supporting us.”
The pair took home £500 each, a £1,000 voucher for Russum’s catering equipment for the West College Scotland, won a culinary trip to Holland and a food processor from Robot Coupe.
The champions will also have their winning recipes featured on the website of Seafish’s National Seafood Week, set to take place in October.
Nikki Hawkins, events manager at Seafish said: “This has to be the strongest finals ever, with judges debating for a long time.”
Galton Blackiston, owner of the Michelin-starred Morston Hall restaurant in Norfolk and one of this year’s guest judges said: “I would personally give a job to all of the students who took part in the final. I wish each of them the very best for the future.”
Source: Greenock Telegraph published 22nd June 2018