9th June 2014

Brogan Lifts Title of Taste of Grampian Aspiring Young Chef 2014

Two North East Scotland College students have lifted the gold and silver awards in the inaugural Taste of Grampian Aspiring Young Chef competition.

The four finalists in the award supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Native by Nick Nairn and North East Scotland College Hospitality Team, battled it out in two cook-offs which took place at the Taste of Grampian event at Thainstone.

The overall winner was Brogan Tilney who impressed the judges with her exceptional dishes. Her starter was Fillets of Herring served on a warm salad of new potatoes, fennel and capers dressed with lemon infused rapeseed oil followed by a main of Rib Eye of Scotch Beef, buttered cabbage and bacon, glazed potatoes accompanied with a white onion sauce.

Runner-up was Louise Lee with her starter of tian of salmon and crab, topped with crème fraiche and garnished with wild rocket and main course of herb crusted pave of lamb, minted pea purée, rosemary potatoes, red wine and garlic sauce.

The other finalists were Kipras Preidys  of the Scottish Lighthouse Museum and Betsy Pepper, a pupil at Mintlaw Academy.

The award has been established to encourage young people to consider a culinary career and to kindle a real passion for top quality local produce among chefs of the future.

The competition attracted a strong entry and was open to all young people, aged 16 to 19, with a passion for food – from those working as commis chefs to college students and school pupils. Entrants were required to devise a menu and recipes consisting of their chosen starter and main course. In keeping with the Taste of Grampian event’s ethos, the menu had to showcase seasonal Grampian produce, where possible sourced from local suppliers. Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb, or Specially Selected Pork plus a local seafood product was also included in the menus.

The entrants were also asked to strongly reflect the theme of “Homecoming” in their menu choice by considering what visitors to the area would want to experience when sampling local Scottish food. Among the judges of the cook-off at Taste of Grampian award-winning cook and food writer Lady Claire Macdonald.

The overall winner will receive two weekends of work experience, courtesy of Nick Nairn, at his popular Native by Nick Nairn Restaurant in Aberdeen and the Nick Nairn Cook School. The winner and runner-up each received a cheque for £200 for the purchase of food preparation equipment, courtesy of Quality Meat Scotland, with the third and fourth placed finalists each receiving a £50 voucher.

Lady Claire Macdonald said she had been extremely impressed with the skills and determination shown by the four young finalists.

The competition was also strong in the Taste of Grampian Primary Schools competition.

The competition, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, encourages teams of pupils to devise a healthy, nutritious packed lunch. Kintore Primary School was the overall winner and also lifted the best art and design award for the written submission. Runner-up was Foveran Primary School, which also lifted the award for the best-researched written submission and in third place was Udny Green Primary School. 

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