Judges for the competition are drawn from across the foodservice sector and for the Northern heat included Seafish representative, Nikki Hawkins, Ben Bartlett, President of the British BBQ Association and celebrity chef, author and broadcaster, Valentina Harris.
Regular judge for the competition, Ben Bartlett, said "I am delighted to be judging UK Young Seafood Chef again. During the judging process, I am looking for these young apprentice chefs to demonstrate flair, culinary skill and their ability to use seafood from sustainable sources."
Nikki Hawkins, Seafish Events Manager said "Seafish is proud to be a sponsor of this long running annual competition. The competition gets tougher each year, with a wide variety of cookery techniques using sustainable seafood being applied to showcase the skills of these talented young chefs. Many of these young students will go on to work with some of the top chefs in the country and our aim is to ensure that seafood is something they are comfortable with, both putting on their menus and purchasing."
While the aspirant chefs were put through their paces at the Northern heat, attending lecturers from the various competing colleges enjoyed a study trip visit to the nearby premises of the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG). Located on Motherwell Food Park, SSMG is one of the UK's leading producers of shellfish, supplying supermarkets, wholesalers and restaurants with mussels and oysters farmed around Scotland. During the visit to SSMG's processing facilities, the group of college lecturers learned all about the sea to serve journey that shellfish takes, and witnessed how such species are processed and packed ready for distribution to customers around the UK.
The three successful colleges that progressed from the Northern regional heat were:
- Kendal College
- Selby College
- West College Scotland (Paisley)
The dates of the remaining regional heats and the national final are:
- 13/03/15 - Western Regional Heat to be held at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Rhos on Sea, Colwyn Bay
- 20/03/15 - Eastern Regional Heat to be held at City College, Norwich, Norfolk (Eastern Heat)
- 12/06/15 - The Grand Final will be held at the Grimsby Institute University Centre, Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
A variety of fantastic prizes are on offer for successful colleges, with the national winners receiving a state of the art Thermomix TM31 food processor, a £1,000 Russums voucher for the college, £500 per team member, the prestigious competition trophy and competition medals, and the team will also have the opportunity to join the brigade of chefs that will be preparing and cooking the gala dinner for delegates at the 2015 World Seafood Congress to be held in Grimsby in September.