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< Back to news 03 January, 2009

Chef at scottish hotel crowned king of seafood

A chef from a Scottish hotel has fought off stiff competition to claim victory in a national Seafood cooking competition

A chef from a Scottish hotel has fought off stiff competition to claim victory in a national Seafood cooking competition and win a coveted place at the chef's table at London's famous Claridge's Hotel

The 'Cook Off' competition, organised by beacon, the UK's purchasing specialists for the UK hospitality industry, was won by Paul Dunn, executive head chef at the Best Western Strathaven Hotel in Strathclyde.

Held in conjunction with Knorr, M&J Seafood and the Sea Fish Industry Authroity, the competition attracted chefs from across the country to do battle in the kitchen at the Unilever Innovation Centre in Crawley.

The competition was inspired by Seafood Week, which is supported by beacon every year and aims to promote the benefits of including seafood on menus.

Competitors were asked to put forward an innovative seafood dish including Knorr products, which demonstrates how versatile and interesting seafood can be.

This year's winning entry, rustled up by Paul Dunn, was a delicious dish of poached loin of cod on wilted spinach and egg noodles with a red pepper coulis.

"I'm thrilled to have won the competition, especially since there were so many experienced chefs taking part. I'm very excited about going to Claridge's - it's regarded as one of the best hotels in the world," said Paul. "It was a great opportunity to show that seafood can be exciting to cook with. I think by teaming cod with egg noodles I have hopefully shown people how extremely versatile seafood can be."

The chefs were given an half-and-a-half to cook their dishes for the panel of jodges, made up of Derek Lockhart, development chef for M&J Seafood, The Sea Fish Authority's Nikki Hawkins and Paul Wright, development chef for Unilever.

The judges were looking at presentation, culinary skills and portion size as well as other criteria including organistaion, balance of taste, originality, imagination, sustainability and of course, good hygiene practices.

The runners up won a set of top quality chef's knives and personalised chef's jackets.

Diane Webster, Head of Sales & Marketing at beacon comments: "This year's competition was a close call as the standard from all those who took part was very high indeed."

"I'd like to congratulate the winner, Paul, all chefs who took part and everyone who made this year's 'Cook Off' competition such a huge success"