Search is on for the Best Young Chef

Crowd's at Tatse of Grampian
Crowd's at Tatse of Grampian

Quality Meat Scotland and Taste of Grampian have joined forces to find the best aspiring young chef in the region.

This year the competition is based on Visit Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, contestants will be asked to create two dishes inspired by June’s theme of ‘The Future of Food’.

Young chefs aged between 16 and 19 will use the best ingredients from the region to showcase their skills to produce inspiring dishes to impress the judges.

The Scotch Beef ‘Aspiring Young Chef’ challenge - sponsored by Quality Meat Scotland, Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland and North East Scotland College – is open to working commis chefs, college pupils and school pupils.

The final will take place at the Taste of Grampian festival on Saturday, June 6, at Thainstone Centre in Inverurie and will be judged by award-winning cook and food writer, Lady Claire Macdonald.

The winner will receive a Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland Scholarship tailored to their future career; a £200 voucher for kitchen equipment; and a signed cook book.

The silver award winner will receive a £100 voucher with the shortlist receiving a £50 voucher.

Brian McLeish, a BBC Masterchef finalist and Head Chef of the Moonfish Café in Aberdeen, will be battling it out against celebrity chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli, at this year’s festival.

Brian is appealing for the next generation of chefs to step forward for this unique opportunity.

Mr McLeish said: “I would encourage all young chefs to push themselves in cookery competitions, they are a great way to really test your skills under pressure - you really find out a lot about yourself and your cooking style.

“As a chef in the Grampian region I feel really lucky to have such great produce on our doorstep, I certainly champion what this area has to offer.

Local producers and local chefs supporting each other surely has to be the way forward”.

The competition is now in its second year and is free to enter; the deadline for written applications is Friday, May 8.

Full details on how to apply are available on the Taste of Grampian website at