Young Highland Chef 2011 opens for nominations


Chefs from the Highlands and Islands are being served up the chance of a lifetime in a region-wide culinary competition to find the best young cook.

Albert Roux OBE, one of the world’s best known master chefs and a guru of high cuisine, is offering a week of work experience at his family’s Michelin two star Le Gavroche restaurant in London.

Nominations are now being invited for the Young Highland Chef 2011, organised by the Burghfield training hotel in Dornoch, and the Albert Roux Consultancy.

The finals on 24th October will be judged by Mr Roux, supported by top chefs including Glen Watson, Martin Wishart, Andrew Fairlie, Steven Docherty, Brian Maule and Derek Johnstone, as well as last year’s winner Fiona Murray from Helmsdale. Fiona, who has been employed at Skibo Castle as a chef de partie, said: “It was a great experience to enter the competition and I would urge urges other chefs to take part.”

Applicants will be invited to submit a three-course dinner menu for two people that must contain mackerel in the starter, game in the main course and pear in the sweet, with a budget cost of £15 per cover.

The menus will be judged on paper and successful applicants will be chosen to attend the heats on Sunday, 4th September. Eight chefs will then be picked to go forward to the final when prizes of £500, plus a week’s work experience at Le Gavroche, £250 and £100 will be awarded for first, second and third. Burghfield House will host the heats and the final. All finalists will receive a certificate and small trophy.  Further information.

Mr Roux said: “My life's work has always included education in the culinary world. I am delighted the Highlands of Scotland has such a strong conviction to educating the young and to hosting such competitions. I have been made to feel very much at home in Scotland by the warm welcome and hospitality shown to me. I look forward to spending a lot of time in this marvellous country.”

Burghfield House is run as a training hotel by North Highland College UHI, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, and offers a range of courses in hospitality and cookery, including the new tourism and hospitality honours degree. Students can also gain Scottish vocational and higher national qualifications.

Russell Rekhy, Burghfield campus manager, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this year’s competition. It will give us the opportunity to showcase some of the marvellous talent in our region, and our own training hotel which is serving one of the region’s key industries. We expect the chance to work at Le Gavroche will be an irresistible draw for our region’s young chefs.”