24th May 2018

Students Show Skill and Innovation to Reach Aspiring Young Chef Final

Two North East Scotland College students are preparing to take part in the Aspiring Young Chef culinary showdown at Taste of Grampian next month.

The finalists – Ryan Laird and Barry Gunn - are set to battle it out in a live cook-off at the event on Saturday June 2nd during Taste of Grampian at the Thainstone Centre, Inverurie.

The cook-off – which also celebrates Scotland’s Year of Young People – is aimed at encouraging young chefs to demonstrate their innovation and culinary talent.

The final of the “Aspiring Young Chef Challenge” - sponsored by Specially Selected Pork – will be judged by a panel including Scotland’s National Chef and former MasterChef Champion, Gary Maclean. Celebrity chef James Martin, who currently presents the Saturday Morning with James Martin show, will present the awards.

This year’s student competitors - shortlisted by North East Scotland College - will don their aprons to create a two-course menu comprising of a main course and dessert, using as much local produce as possible including Specially Selected Pork. 

The winner will receive a £150 voucher and the runner-up will receive a £50 voucher for chefs’ equipment and both finalists will receive a Specially Selected Pork goody bag, supplied by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

John Gregor, Chairman of Taste of Grampian, said: “The aim of this initiative is to encourage young people who are interested in a career in the hospitality industry and to give recognition to their skills and enthusiasm. The Challenge also makes for a great spectacle at Taste of Grampian and we hope our visitors will support them.”

Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of Quality Meat Scotland, which supports the initiative, added: “This competition is a great opportunity to educate and encourage young people to take pride in fantastic produce Scotland has to offer.

“Our congratulations to the finalists and our best wishes for the future, they have without doubt, a very exciting career ahead,” he added.

The Young Aspiring Chef cook-off will take place from 10am in Ring 3 at Taste of Grampian, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie on Saturday 2nd June. The winner will be announced at 12.15 pm in Ring 3.

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