TV chef to crown winners of North-east food festival’s new contest

James Martin.
James Martin.

A celebrity chef is to crown the winners of a new competition at a popular North-east food festival.

Taste of Grampian is stepping up the hunt for the region’s most outstanding young chefs.

And the Taste of Grampian Fresh Olive competition, sponsored by Entier and Quality Meat Scotland, will see the champions handed their titles by former Saturday Kitchen presenter and chef James Martin.

Taking place in ring three of Inverurie’s Thainstone Centre on Saturday, June 3, the first competition begins at 10am, while the second, more advanced contest, kicks off at 11.15am.

The first round will see two first year chef apprentices – Nicole Webster, who celebrates her 17th birthday on the day, and 17-year-old Kieron Kerr – go head-to-head to impress judges.

The second heat will put Michael Hennessy, 24, a third year chef apprentice and Rachel Wallace, 17, a second year chef apprentice, to the test in the fight to claim the title of Taste of Grampian Rising Star.

Competitors in both heats will be handed a mystery bag of ingredients and will have to create their own unique dish to wow the judges.

The dishes will be judged by celebrity chef Lady Claire Macdonald and Andrew Hammer, managing director of Wild Thyme.

And the winners will be awarded their titles by James Martin.

Peter Bruce, ceo of Entier, said: “I am extremely proud of our Fresh Olives programme since its inception in 2010.

“I was an apprentice chef myself and I wanted to put something back into the hospitality industry that has been good to me, carving my career from hotels to contract catering, senior management to now CEO and an owner of Entier.

“Seeing the young olives in our business is inspiring and really represents the future of our company.”