Two young chefs from the University of West London have secured a place in the final of the 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition after winning their regional heat on Friday (10th of May) at City College Norwich. 

Dominykas Salvaitis (20) and Timothy Hodgson (22) have secured one of nine places in the competition’s grand final. Dominykas and Timothy earned their position by preparing a three-course menu of Atlantic sole, Scottish sake cured hake and Icelandic cod Wellington, all made using sustainably-sourced seafood.

The 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition, sponsored by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, and run by The Grimsby Institute, offers its participants a platform to demonstrate their flair and skills using sustainable seafood. The competition is open to all full-time and college based modern apprentice chefs under 25.

Dominykas and Timothy will now compete against eight other teams of two in front of judges at the final, to be held at The Grimsby Institute, Grimsby, on the 14th of June. This year’s final judging panel includes Daniel Clifford, chef patron of two-Michelin starred Midsummer House restaurant, Cambridge, and two-time winner of BBC Two’s Great British Menu.

Two further heats to select the competition’s remaining finalists will be held at Sunderland College and Coleg Llandrillo, North Wales, later this month. The Norwich heat was judged by a panel of professionals that included Serge Nollent, Product Group Development Manager, Young's Seafood, and Emma Mckeating, Master Fishmonger, and was headed-up by Ben Bartlett, Master Craft Guild of Chefs and Seafish Chef Ambassador.

Nikki Hawkins, Trade Events Manager, Seafish, said: “Founded in 1996, the UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year continues to uncover incredible talent. The standard of cooking in this heat has been exceptional, with each team impressing us with the skill and creativity in their dishes.

“This competition is highly regarded in the seafood industry. It offers ambitious young chefs the opportunity to demonstrate their ability and confidence in working with a range of sustainable seafood, and the chance to potentially boost their future careers. Today’s winners will now have their sights firmly set on the final in Grimsby, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they have to offer the judges.”

Paul Robinson, Curriculum Manager, Hospitality, at The Grimsby Institute, added: “The road to the UK Young Seafood Chef final is always hard-fought, and an invaluable learning experience for all of the young chefs involved.

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“Competitions like this are not only a great way for colleges to show off the skills that their students have been developing and shine a spotlight on the next generation of chefing talent, but also to highlight their students’ knowledge and awareness of sustainable seafood practices.”

The winning team of the 2019 UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition will receive a Koppert Cress ‘Cressperience’ trip to Holland, along with a Robot Coupe Robot Cook food processer, £500 per person, a £1,000 voucher that can be spent on Russums catering equipment for their college, a cookbook, a competition trophy, a competition medal and prize certificates. The winning recipes will feature on the Seafood Week 2019 website. 

Seafish is the competition’s headline sponsor, with Young’s Seafood, Koppert Cress, Robot Coupe, Russums, Billingsgate Seafood Training School, Corney & Barrow Wines, The Big Prawn Company and Oak Ridge Hotel Group also providing sponsorship.

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