Young Seafood Chef of the Year

The Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition is open to all full-time and college based modern apprentice chefs.

Launched in 2017, the competition provides young chefs with a platform to demonstrate their flair, understanding, skill and ability using seafood from sustainable sources.

Teams of two are tasked with creating a three-course menu using specially selected seafood species. Thereafter regional heats take place across the UK where the chefs cook their dishes with the three highest scoring teams from each heat going on to compete at the Grand Final.

The prize for the winning team includes £500 for each team member, a Robot Coupe food processor and a £1,000 voucher for their college to spend on Russums catering equipment.

Competition format and rules

The choice of seafood will be restricted to the specific species listed below. It is hoped that this will encourage creativity and imagination through craft skills, rather than the use of exotic species and in addition, raise awareness of sustainability issues amongst contestants.

Each team has to present three courses for six people using the required seafood species in each category.

Starter - red fish or salmon (fillets)

Intermediate - cod or smoked haddock (fillets)

Main Course - hake or plaice (whole)

  1. Entrants must be under 25 on enrolment to their course and studying toward either a full-time course or be a
    college based modern apprentices.
  2. A total food cost of £15 per person is allowed using market values at the time of entry. All other items needed (including garnishes) must be calculated within the combined total budget of £90.
  3. Each team will be given three hours to prepare and present their dishes.
  4. Each team should produce six printed copies of their menu. Additional marks will be awarded by the judges for any educational and informative content provided in relation to the dishes, including allergen awareness.  Information on the
    candidates is also encouraged.
  5. The seafood stated for each course is the species to use for the nominated course and cannot be used for any other course (excluding the fish bones or shells).
  6. Any fish bones that are required (for stock etc.) are to be used from the waste of the species used.
  7. Costing lists must be provided when entries are submitted, highlighting weights and costs of species which are being used.

Please note:

  • As this competition is fundamentally based upon the judging of craft
    skills, NO prior preparation, portioning or weighing out of any ingredient is
    allowed. Students may be disqualified for pre prep or pre portioning.
  • Prior to the start of each heat and the final, each team will be allowed
    30 minutes to get organised, providing time to familiarise themselves with the
    kitchen and their support staff. This time is CANNOT be used for prior
    preparation of any ingredient.
  • If menus are written in a language other than English, a translation
    must be supplied. Marks will be awarded to teams that can show the judges that
    they have a basic knowledge and understanding of the MSC and sustainability of

Each team will prepare, cook and present each of their three dishes as follows: 

  • One finished plate to a panel of judges, for scoring and tasting.
  • One finished plate to be reserved for display (can be viewed by competing teams, judges and media at the end of the competition).
  • The remaining four finished plates to be served to invited guests to be eaten.
  • All dishes to be presented as if they were to be served in a restaurant.
  • Plates and flats for service should be brought to the competition together with six printed copies of the menu.

Entry pack to include the following:

  • Jacket sizes
  • Menu
  • Recipes (to include method and ingredients)
  • Costing list
  • Weights of species
  • One copy of the presentation menu (if successful in round one, then six copies must be provided at the heat)
  1. The organisers will not accept responsibility for entries arriving later than the closing date.
  2. The decision of the selection and judging panel will be final.
  3. No prior correspondence with the judging panel can take place. Doing so will result in the teamsʼ withdrawal
    from the competition.
  4. Food costs will remain within the maximum amount allowed of £90.
  5. The menus submitted will be the ones produced on the day of the competition.
  6. The organisers reserve the right to use recipes and other material for promotional purposes.
  7. Successful teams that reach the final may change the presentation, but not the ingredients of their dishes.



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