NESCol to host prestigious culinary competition for 23rd year

May 15, 2024

North East Scotland College (NESCol) is opening its doors on Monday 20 May to 29 up-and-coming chefs, as they battle it out at one of Scotland’s most well-respected culinary contests.

Organised by Hospitality Training, this is the 23rd year that the College has provided professional kitchen facilities at its Aberdeen City Campus for the North East Scotland Chef of the Year competition.

With a focus on high quality, local ingredients, the competition is split into three categories: Chef of the Year, Young Chef and Seafood Chef. The competitors will rustle up a full menu of up to 4 courses in NESCol’s industry-standard training kitchens before presenting them in the linked Gate 63 restaurant.

Some of Scotland’s most decorated chefs are heading to Aberdeen to judge the dishes. The panel includes industry veterans, Joe Queen and Willie Pike MBE from the Federation of Chefs Scotland, and Michelin Star chefs Stephen McLaughlin, Mark Donald and Billy Boyter.

Karen Black, General Manager, Hospitality Training, said: “We are so grateful to North East Scotland College for providing access to their training kitchens, which is key to making this event happen. As an industry-owned training association, collaboration in education and training is vital.

“We work with NESCol to celebrate the talent of our local chefs and promote Modern Apprenticeships and professional cookery courses. We are passionate about increasing awareness of the opportunities that exist in this wonderful industry and aim to secure the future of the culinary arts across the region.

“Our special thanks also go to our headline sponsors this year, Entier Ltd and Chefs North- East and G McWilliam for their generosity and support.”

This year’s cook-off will be followed by an awards dinner at the Chester Hotel, where the names of the three winning chefs will be announced. As well as the accolades, the winner of the coveted senior Chef of the Year title will scoop a £1500 cash prize, with the Young Chef and Seafood Chef taking home £1000 and £500 respectively.

Former NESCol students have previously competed, with Professional Cookery student, Renz Mangalile, being crowned North East Scotland Young Chef of the Year in 2019.

Michele Burnett, Head of Sector for Hospitality and Leisure, NESCol, said:

“We’re delighted to host some of the hospitality industry’s best new talent on our campus. It’s a great reflection on our kitchen facilities that we have been able to accommodate a competition with chefs of this calibre for over two decades.

“Seeing our former students return to the kitchens where they first started their training is a full-circle moment for us at NESCol. We look forward to welcoming this year’s competitors and judges and wish everyone involved good luck!”

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