Student chefs secure spot in Young Seafood Chef of the Year final
Two young chefs from University College Birmingham are preparing to battle it out with students from around the country in the final of a national seafood competition.
Level 3 Professional Cookery students Aaron Mosedale and Heather Goldie will compete with eight other teams in the final of UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year 2019 on 14 June.
The duo secured their place at the final in Grimsby as one of three teams to qualify from their heat at Coleg Llandrillo in North Wales.
The team impressed the judges with their three fish courses – especially their hake dish, which was named the best intermediate course in their heat.
"I think that was the best we've ever done it," said Aaron. "I was really pleased with it, everything went out hot and I was really happy."
"It was good," said team-mate Heather. "I've never really done a competition before, but me and Aaron work well together and we've got good communication."
For the climax of the contest, the duo will face the challenge of preparing 18 plates of food over three courses, including an intermediate course using a 'mystery box' of ingredients which are not revealed until the day before the final.
And judging their work at The Grimsby Institute will be Daniel Clifford, two-time winner of BBC series Great British Menu and chef patron of the two Michelin-starred Midsummer House restaurant in Cambridge.
"I've been following Daniel for a few years," said Aaron. "Having him watching us cook and prepare in the final will be a bit nerve-wracking!"
Ahead of the final, the team have been busy rehearsing and adjusting their dishes in the kitchens at UCB's Summer Row campus under the guidance of chef lecturer Martin Hodgetts.
"Martin's been so supportive," said Heather. "He's been coming in and out, helping us and making suggestions."
"We've had everything we could have wanted really," added Aaron. "We've had support from the lecturers, we've been able to use the kitchens and any produce at any time. UCB is really good for that."
UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year is an annual contest sponsored by Seafish, the public body supporting the UK seafood industry.
UCB students have claimed the title on six occasions in the competition's history, most recently in 2015.
It is not the first competition in which finalist Aaron has been involved this year, having been part of a UCB trio which scooped 2nd prize in the British Culinary Federation (BCF) Student Cook and Serve Team Challenge in April.
The 19-year-old also bagged the opportunity of a lifetime when he was invited to accompany the UK team at the final of the prestigious Bocuse d'Or competition in Lyon in January.
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