8th June 2017

Talented Young Chefs Reach Finals of Aberdeen Angus Scotch Beef Award

Three talented young chefs have been announced as the finalists in a prestigious cooking competition run by the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).   The young chefs selected by judges at a challenge held at The Cook School Scotland were Hayley Bruce of McBains Catering, Calum Moncrieff of Sheraton Hotel, Edinburgh and Thomas MacNeill of Fife college.   The overall winner will travel to Dubai to experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip and opportunity to work with acclaimed Scottish chef Tristin Farmer and the other two finalists will enjoy work experience at award-winning The Sisters restaurants in Glasgow’s Jordanhill and Kelvingrove.   Chef Jak O’Donnell, chef patron of The Sisters Restaurant, judged the youngsters’ skills along with Vanessa Dayley of Braehead Cook School. The judges were also joined by acclaimed TV chef and top food writer, Paul Gayler MBE.   The competition saw the students challenged to devise a main course dish featuring Aberdeen-Angus Scotch Beef PGI as the main ingredient. They were also tasked to create two Aberdeen-Angus Scotch Beef canapes which will be served at the World Angus Forum Gala Dinner at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on 26th June.   "The standard of cooking was exceptional,” said Jak O’Donnell.  “A lot of thought had clearly gone into, not just the main course, but also the canapés which will be served to guests at the World Angus Forum Dinner.   “What made the three finalists we selected stand out was the way they produced excellent and very well-balanced dishes which were presented to a very high standard.  All of their dishes delivered fully on taste and I wish them all the very best of luck in the competition and their future careers.”   The culinary challenge for the chefs of the future is one of a series of UK and Ireland-wide activities to promote the 2017 World Angus Forum.    This international event will see hundreds of delegates congregate in Scotland as part of the full UK and Irish tour in June including visitors from as far afield as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico and Europe.   Alex Sanger, president of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society said the competition offered the young students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.   “The three successful students will have the chance to work alongside two revered chefs in the kitchens of two first class restaurants creating dishes of the very highest standard,” said Mr Sanger.   “The main ingredient they will be working with in the competition -  Aberdeen-Angus Scotch Beef – has earned a global reputation for quality and our very best wishes go to the three youngsters who without doubt have exciting careers in front of them.”   Jim McLaren, Chairman of QMS, added: “The finalist students will go forward into their careers as ambassadors for top quality Scotch Beef.    “Their experiences as finalists of this award offer a valuable opportunity to improve their understanding of what sets the Scotch Beef PGI brand apart – including the quality assurance and high standards of animal welfare which underpin the brand. Our sincere thanks also go to Tristin and Jak for all their support.”  

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