Students William Bolsover and Niall Frith awarded prestigious title in nationwide competition
A team from Kendal College have won a coveted seafood competition this week, after taking part in the final of the UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year 2017.
The winning team made up of William Bolsover, aged 17, and Niall Frith, aged 18, were one of nine teams to go to the final on Tuesday 13 June at the Grimsby Institute, Lincolnshire. All competitors were asked to create three seafood courses from scratch using sustainable species specifically chosen for them. A new addition this year was the ‘invention test’ which challenged the finalists to create an intermediate seafood course, selecting from a list of 15 ingredients including seafood, which they were only given the evening before the final.
The winners were commended for their menu, consisting of sous vide salmon and pan fried hake, which showed inventiveness and demonstrated a range of advanced cooking techniques. The judges commented that the dishes produced were exceptional and praised the young chefs for the level of skills and confidence they displayed in the kitchen.
Highly regarded across the seafood industry for the valuable experience it gives to contestants, the national competition’s 2017 panel included some of the country’s most successful chefs.
New to the judging panel this year was Michelin-star chef Nathan Outlaw, who previously worked with television chef and seafood expert Rick Stein. The day prior to the competition, Nathan provided the teams with a masterclass on Seafood and was on hand at the final to provide expert culinary advice alongside Franck Pontais, chef author, Serge Nollent, executive development chef at Young’s and Nikki Hawkins, events manager at Seafish.
Prizes included £500 for each team member, a Thermomix TM31 food processor and a £1,000 voucher for Kendal College to spend on Russums catering equipment. Nathan Outlaw also gave each finalist a personalised signed cook book and sponsors Koppartcress invited the winning team on an all-expenses paid trip to Holland to see where their products are grown.
William Bolsover commented on winning the competition, he said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the competition. We’ve been practising and preparing to get here and we’re really happy with how we performed, especially in the newly introduced invention test.”
Niall Frith added: “We are passionate about seafood and have worked hard to get here so are thrilled to have won. We can’t wait to go to Holland to learn more about the produce we’ve been using.”
Yannick Lequitte, chef lecturer at Kendal College added: “This is a great competition for students to enter. It is high profile and rewards best practice and skills and also educated the students on the nutritional values of seafood. I am very proud of my students for this achievement and I’d encourage other colleges to enter their teams, as it could be you taking the title next year.”
Nikki Hawkins, events manager at Seafish, said: “Once again this competition has seen some wonderful talent. The nine competing teams from all over the UK showed exceptional skill and innovation in creating their seafood dishes, especially when it came to the new invention test.
“It is encouraging to see such enthusiasm from the competing students. These are our young chefs of the future and to reach these standards is a real achievement, not only for the teams but for their lecturers and their colleges.
“We would like to congratulate the winners William and Niall again and wish all of our finalists the very best of luck for the future. We look forward to seeing what mark they make on the seafood industry in the years to come.”
In recent years, the competition has seen backing from chefs including Aiden Byrne, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Cyrus Todiwala, Mitch Tonks and Atul Kochhar.
This year, it also sees sponsorship from leading brands and organisations including Seafish, Young’s, Thermomix, Russums, Oak Ridge Group, Corney & Barrow and Koppertcress.