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Elmwood Students Success with Seafood

Published Wednesday, 18th June 2014 in Study at SRUC news

Abbie and Darren with Chef Jean Christophe Novelli

Students Abbie Clunie and Darren Spence from the Elmwood Campus of Scotland’s Rural College came second in the UK Seafood Young Chef of the year award 2014.

The competition was judged by Jean Christophe Novelli, a Michelin starred chef, with only half a point between themselves and the winner South Essex College.

The two students, both studying a Professional Cookery course with SRUC, were the only Scottish entry to be placed among the 12 UK entries. It took place in the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education’s Hospitality Department.

The UK Seafood Competition was founded in 1996 by the Grimsby Institute's Hospitality Department after many of the tutors working there recognised there were no existing competitions specific to the seafood industry. The profile of the award has increased dramatically in recent years and attracted a large number of entries from colleges all over the UK.

The finalists from SRUC, Abbie Clunie (18) from Pittenweem, who is studying a HNC in Professional Cookery and Darren Spence (18) from Auchtermuchty, on Level 1 of his Diploma in Professional Cookery, were ranked first in the UK for their starter of pan fried salmon with a pea and mint puree. Their other dishes were pickled herring with a beetroot jelly and a roasted fillet of turbot with a celeriac mash and crisp pancetta. 

Hospitality lecturer Martin Luti from the Elmwood campus was delighted with the result. He said:

“The candidates have worked so hard preparing for the competition and it is great for them to have come so far and second overall has been a fantastic achievement, especially as they got first place for their starter.”

Abbie and Darren won a £400 Russums voucher for Elmwood College and £200 each. Despite the prizes to be won many believe that the main accomplishment of the competition is for the candidates to really push themselves and create brilliant seafood dishes which are both unique and use sustainable seafood.

Photo caption: Abbie and Darren with judge Jean Christophe Novelli

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