Cooking, Cookery

Professional cookery students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College have won through to the final of a national competition after triumphing in their heat of the UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year.

The students, Callum Wood and Dean Burnham, worked together to create a three-course seafood menu for six covers in just three hours. Their menu of steamed plaice, confit of salmon and roast monkfish wowed the judges who were impressed with the quality and flavours of their dishes.

The duo worked together on their dishes and won first place for best starter and best intermediate course. Judges feedback included praise for their professionalism and organisation in the kitchen. The students were singled out for the way they presented themselves during the competition.

Tutor, chef lecturer Jason Thacker said, “I am delighted with the results that Callum and Dean have achieved and I know how hard they have worked to prepare for this challenge. They were a great credit to the college and the judges were so impressed with the way they worked as a team. We’re now looking forward to the final later this month and hope to do well there too.”

Callum and Dean will now progress on to the grand final of the competition which is due to be held at the Grimsby Institute on 15 June. To help inspire their efforts, they will take part in a masterclass on the day before the final led by Michelin-starred chef Galton Blackiston from Morston Hall hotel in North Norfolk.

The students are competing to win the first prize of a study trip to the Netherlands, the home of cress specialists, Koppert Cress where they will enjoy a four-day culinary ‘Cressperience’ including two days working in Michelin-starred restaurants.