Teams from Westminster Kingsway College in London were awarded the first and second positions at the UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition this afternoon.
Teammates Charlotte Crudgington and Shannon Crowe were awarded first place, winning a Thermomix TM31 food processor for their college, £500 each and a £1,000 voucher for their college to spend on Russums catering equipment.
Changi Park and Jing Dong Kuo, also from Westminster Kingsway college, came second.
They competed against seven other teams who made it to the final, including runners-up West College Scotland (third place) and Kendal College (fourth). The young chefs were tasked with creating a new three-course meal from scratch using species specifically chosen for them.
The winning pair's menu featured a starter of spiced crusted cod with onion bhaji, sweet potato fondant and raita with candied chilli; and a main course of bread crumbed Dover sole with pea puree, triple-cooked chip, tomato fondue, malted baby onions, mixed pea salad and batter scraps.
The competition, which took place at the Grimsby Institute in Lincolnshire, was judged by Cyrus Todiwala, chef patron of Café Spice Namaste. He was joined by celebrity barbeque chef Ben Bartlett and Italian food connoisseur Valentina Harris. Franck Pontais from Koppert Cress; Serge Nollent, executive development chef at Young's; and Nikki Hawkins, events manager at Seafish, were also there to put the contestants through their paces.
Crudgington said: "We still can't quite believe we managed to win the whole thing, it's an amazing feeling."
Crowe added: "We were so excited to cook for the judges again and we're glad we did Westminster Kingsway College proud by winning the whole competition."
Nikki Hawkins, events manager at Seafish, said: "The UK Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition is an excellent platform for young chefs to showcase their culinary skills while receiving credible industry feedback.
"We would like to congratulate the team from Westminster Kingsway college 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."