SIX trainee chefs from the Scottish Borders today (14 May 2013) cooked for Albert Roux OBE, KFO, one of the world’s greatest restaurateurs and chefs.
The chefs were competing to win the Border Union Bicentenary Roux Apprentice Award – a six-month placement and £6,000 bursary – arranged by the Border Union Agricultural Society (BUAS) with support from Quality Meat Scotland (Scotch Lamb).
The BUAS celebrates its bicentenary in 2013 and the competition, which is being run in association with Borders College, forms part of a year-long programme of celebrations by the BUAS highlighting the agricultural industry in the region including its impressive credentials in food production.
The six contestants had already participated in heats to secure their places in today’s final which will lead one of them to the £6,000 bursary and a six-month placement with Scottish two Michelin star chef, Andrew Fairlie at his Gleneagles restaurant.
The winning student will also cook alongside Albert Roux and a brigade of other Michelin starred chefs at a special BUAS bicentenary banquet being held in July at the Society’s showground, Springwood Park in Kelso.
Ron Wilson, secretary of the BUAS, said: “This competition forms part of our aim to include within our bicentenary celebrations elements that will create a lasting legacy for future generations.
“The student who wins this award will have the chance to work with the finest chefs in the country, providing them with a fantastic springboard for their career.”
Vicky MacDonald, programme leader for hospitality at Borders College, said: ”This is an incredible opportunity for our students. It has encouraged them to use their creativity and abilities to the full in devising new dishes for the competition and the six finalists have produced some amazing food to reach this stage.”
The student chefs each created two dishes for Albert Roux using local ingredients in the cook-off.
Mr Roux said: “It was a pleasure to be in the Scottish Borders to judge this award.
“Glen Watson, one of my chef consultants has been closely involved in the development and judging of this contest to date. Originally from Kelso, and a former student at this college, he is a passionate advocate of Borders food and we both really enjoyed tasting the dishes the students prepared today.”
The six students who participated in the final were: Andy Thomson from Earlston, Paulo Neves from Melrose, Chris Mitchell from Hawick, Jessica Mead from St Boswells, Lynn Frizzell from Galashiels and Ainsley Casson from Hawick.
The winner of the Border Union Bicentenary Roux Apprentice Award will be announced by the BUAS in advance of its bicentenary banquet being held at Springwood Park in Kelso as part of the annual Border Union Show (26 – 27 July 2013).
In addition to the show’s traditional competitions, activities and displays, the bicentenary event will also include a Food Fair featuring top UK chefs.
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