(Left to right, back row) Sharon Munro, Senior Vice President of Kirkcaldy Rotary Club, Gobinda Kharel, owner and chef at the Annapurna Gurkha in Kirkcaldy, Eadie Manson, Culinary Arts Lecturer at Fife College, James McKay, Head Chef at Pettycur Bay Hotel, Lindsey Robertson, Curriculum Manager for Culinary Arts and Hospitality at Fife College. (Left to right, front row) Mackenzie Graham, Jake Ramsey.   

Six young cooking enthusiasts, aged between 13 and 16, battled it out in the kitchens of Fife College’s St Brycedale Campus in the Kirkcaldy final of the Rotary Young Chef of the Year competition recently. 

Organised by the Rotary Club of Kirkcaldy, the competition saw the young chefs cook a healthy three-course meal for two people, with a time limit of two hours and a modest budget. 

The dishes were then judged by the College’s Culinary Arts Lecturer, Eadie Manson, Head Chef at Pettycur Bay Hotel, James McKay and owner and chef at the Annapurna Gurkha in Kirkcaldy, Gobinda Kharel, tasted the dishes, examined presentation and the methods used. 

After much deliberation Mackenzie Graham of Balwearie High School and Jake Ramsay of Kirkcaldy High School were named winners.  The boys will now go forward to the District 1010 Final on the 26 January 2019 at Dundee College.

Mackenzie and Jake will also receive mentoring over the next two months from the judges prior to the final to brush up on their skills.

The Rotary Club of Kirkcaldy run the competition with pupils from Balwearie High School, Kirkcaldy High School and Viewforth High School all taking part in heats to get through to the final at St Brycedale.    

Bryan McCabe-Bell, Director of Business, Enterprise and Tourism at Fife College said: 

“We were delighted to host the Young Chef of the Year Final at our St Brycedale Campus this week.  All six finalists produced some fantastic dishes, demonstrating a real passion for food which would serve them well should they go on to pursue a career in catering and hospitality.

“Congratulations to winners on the day, Jake and Mackenzie.  I’m sure they will do very well in the next stage of the competition.”

Sharon Munro, Senior Vice President of Kirkcaldy Rotary Club, said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with each school, the home economic teachers and students to make this a great competition.  The standard was exceptional and delighted to know that we have great talent in Fife who will be our future chefs.  It is great to work with Youth and great to have the collaboration with the school and college, thank you to Bryan McCabe-Bell and all his staff for the generosity of time and hospitality given.”

Looking to cook up a career in professional cookery and hospitality?  Start your journey in January with SVQ Professional Cookery level 4 places available in Halbeath and Levenmouth campuses. For further details about Culinary Arts and Hospitality courses at Fife College, visit our course pages.