CULINARY soup-er stars from across the country are set to go head-to-head in a Cullen Skink clash.
The World Championships are to take place in the Moray village of Cullen – the birthplace of the traditional soup.
Cullen Skink – a thick soup made using smoked haddock, potatoes and onions – is a Scottish speciality.
Aberdeen firefighter Barry Mitchell has been shortlisted for the contest where he will use his family recipe passed down from his grandparents from Footdee.
Barry, who is watch manager at Aberdeen International Airport fire station, has been serving up the dish to his colleagues at the fire house in a bid to perfect his recipe.
Owner of the Cullen Bay Hotel, Ian Watson was crowned winner of the Cullen Skink “with a twist” category last year.
Ian, who used to live in Bermuda, made his with inspiration from the island.
He said: “I used chillis and marinated it with ginger molasses.
“This year I’m going to have an Asian and Eastern European influence.”
Professional chefs Tim Belton and Alex Grahame will also strut their culinary stuff.
Tim, a chef of more than 30 years, was inspired to take part in the competition after someone from Cullen travelled up to his workplace in Carrbridge and told him it was the “best I’ve ever had”.
While Alex, who co-owns Hornblowers in Gourdon, has also been shortlisted.
Alex’s soup, named The Bon Accord, is a finalist in the Cullen Skink with a twist category. His recipe is influenced by his French training and the Aberdonian heritage of his wife Ruth.
Katrina Allan, retail manager at North-east baker Murdoch Allan, is also stepping up to the plate.
Entrants will compete for two championship prizes – one for best soup made using a traditional recipe, and the other for best Cullen Skink “with a twist”.
The competitors will have one hour to produce three 250ml portions of the soup for judges.
They will be allowed to prepare raw ingredients in advance, but all cooking has to be conducted at the event itself under competition conditions.
The championship event will take place in the Cullen Bay Hotel next Sunday.
The Cullen Voluntary Trust Initiative launched the annual celebration of the soup in 2012.