The ‘steaks’ were high entering the finals of this year’s ‘Scotch Lamb, Surf ‘n’ Turf Chef of the Year’ competition as five of Scotland’s best chefs battled it out in the ultimate cook off.
The joint initiative run by Quality Meat Scotland’s Scotch Beef Club and Seafood Scotland tested the eager finalist’s ability to showcase the versatility of some of Scotland’s most coveted ingredients by putting their creativity and culinary innovation to the test.
Combining their vast industry experience, the panel of judges from Scottish Chefs, Seafood Scotland and the National Sheep Association were on the lookout for the chef who shared the most exciting, inventive and delicious combination of land and sea.
The first finalist recognised for his saddle of lamb, lamb sweetbreads, crispy oysters, cucumber and lamb jus dish is Craig Gibb, Head Chef at Borthwick Castle just outside of Edinburgh.
Hoping to impress the judges with his Scotch Lamb loin, oyster emulsion and pickled clams dish, Barry Gamble represented Esoteric, his recently launched pop-up concept restaurant.
From Aberdeen, The Braided Fig head chef Steven Castle served cannon of Scotch Lamb PGI, langoustine amandine, lamb shank croustilliant, broccoli, goats cheese, anchovy gremolata and truffled potato espuma.
Finally, chefs Hamish McMichael and Dominic Roarty from The Three Chimney’s in Skye hoped to grab the judge’s attention with their dishes. Hamish cooked Orbost Farm lamb, Dunvegan langusten, colbost shash gnocchi whilst Dominic made loin of lamb with salt cod, black garlic, oyster and turnip.
The winner, which will be announced at the Scottish Chef’s Conference next week, will take home the coveted title.
Claire Higgs, Communications and Events Manager at QMS, said: “The annual Scotch Lamb Surf ‘n’ Turf competition presents a fantastic opportunity to showcase two of Scotland’s most prized ingredients.
“The Scotch Lamb PGI reared in the beautiful Scottish countryside and abundance of fresh seafood from Scottish seas presented the chance to create countless dishes celebrating the amazing produce our country has to offer.
“Each of the finalist’s recipes brought something completely different to the table so the judges definitely had their work cut out for crowning the winner.” The winner announced on Monday 4 November at the annual Scottish Chef’s Conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).
Clare Dean, Trade Marketing Manager for Seafood Scotland commented: “The chefs each showed an excellent array of skills which complement the fantastic natural flavours of our Scotch Lamb and seafood in each of their dishes.
“We were delighted to be once again involved in this competition, giving a flavour of just some of the talented chefs we are lucky to have here in Scotland who understand how to make the most of the fantastic produce coming from our land and seas.”