Celebrated chef heads up UK seafood competition

Published on
January 16, 2020

Michelin-starred chef Mark Sargeant has been announced as head judge in the U.K. Young Seafood Chef of the Year 2020 competition.

Now in its 24th year, the contest seeks out aspiring chefs and encourages them to cook with seafood.

With an application deadline of 1 April, it is open to professionals under the age of 25. Entrants will compete across three regional heats in May in which they will work in teams of two to produce a three-course seafood menu.

Nine teams will the go through to a Grand Final in Grimsby on 12 June where they will again cook a three-course seafood menu, while also being judged on their filleting and culinary skills.

“As a young chef I was lucky enough to win a few competitions and the skills and confidence I gained through competing was fantastic,” Sargeant, who operates the Rocksalt restaurant in Folkestone, said. “I met some fantastic chefs who were so encouraging and I want to give back something to the young chefs out there. Seafood is an essential commodity and we need to learn how to respect and cook it properly.”

The competition is sponsored by public body Seafish and run by the Grimsby Institute.

 “The U.K. Young Seafood Chef of the Year is an important event for the seafood industry,” Nikki Hawkins, Seafish trade events manager and one of the competition’s judges, said. “It provides opportunities to connect the industry with colleges and young chefs, ensuring quality seafood is on menus for years to come.”  

Photo courtesy of Mark Sargeant

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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