June 2019

UCB chefs bag award at UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year final

Read time: approx 3 mins

Two student chefs from University College Birmingham have scooped an award in the final of a national seafood contest.

Aaron Mosedale and Heather Goldie battled with teams from eight other institutions in the final of UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year 2019 on 14 June.

The duo, who both study Level 3 Professional Cookery at the College of Food, had already seen off stiff competition during the heats in Wales back in May to book their place in the climax of the contest at The Grimsby Institute.

And despite some initial technical setbacks, the pair recovered and were thrilled to come away from the final with second prize.

"We are both really pleased," said Aaron. "We had a great experience and met some amazing chefs.

"We were happy with how it went – to be honest we were very shocked at second place as a few things went wrong during the competition."

The final saw competitors required to prepare 18 plates of food over three courses using specially selected sustainable seafood, with their work being judged by Daniel Clifford, two-time winner of BBC Two's Great British Menu and chef patron of the two Michelin-starred Midsummer House restaurant in Cambridge.

The challenge included an intermediate course featuring a 'mystery box' of ingredients that were not revealed until 12 hours before the final, with Aaron and Heather creating a dish featuring lobster, orzo pasta and leeks.

Supporting the team throughout the contest was UCB chef lecturer Martin Hodgetts, who commended the duo on their achievement.

"I am extremely proud of them and their dedication, performance, professionalism and enthusiasm towards the competition and the whole process," said Martin. "They were a pleasure to work with and really made a fantastic team."

UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year is an annual competition sponsored by Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry. It is open to all full-time and college-based modern apprentice chefs under the age of 25.

Praising the 2019 finalists, judge Daniel Clifford said: "The level of skill and knowledge displayed at the final from each and every one of the young chefs was outstanding. It was a tough one for us to judge."

The competition was the latest in a series of events this year for budding chef Aaron, who also won 2nd prize in the British Culinary Federation (BCF) Student Cook and Serve Team Challenge in April, as well as being invited to accompany the UK team at the final of the prestigious Bocuse d'Or competition in Lyon in January.

The Young Seafood Chef contest is not the only competition success the College of Food has enjoyed recently either – last week also saw a trio of UCB students announced as the winners of the coveted Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or title.

Earlier in June, there was also a string of awards for the University's young bakers at the annual Alliance of Bakery Students and Trainees (ABST) Competition, while one of UCB's Food Development and Innovation students was chosen to present her dissertation research at the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) Young Scientist Competition.

Find out more about our range of courses at UCB’s College of Food here.

Photo credit: John Armstrong

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