Search launched for Aspiring Young Chef

Nick Nairn teaches John Gregor from Taste of Grampian how to cook the perfect steak
Nick Nairn teaches John Gregor from Taste of Grampian how to cook the perfect steak

Top Scottish chef Nick Nairn has launched a new initiative which aims to track down the Taste of Grampian Aspiring Young Chef 2014.

The award, supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Native by Nick Nairn and North East Scotland College Hospitality Team, is aimed at encouraging young people to consider a culinary career and to kindle a real passion for top quality local produce among chefs of the future.

The competition final will see a cook-off taking place on Saturday, June 7 at Taste of Grampian which is now firmly established as one of Scotland’s top food events.

Nick Nairn is one of the celebrity chefs cooking at this year’s event held at the Thainstone Centre, Inverurie.

The competition is open to those aged 16 to 19 with a passion for food - all that is required is to devise a menu and recipes consisting of a starter and main course.

In keeping with the Taste of Grampian event’s ethos, the menu must showcase seasonal Grampian produce, where possible sourced from local suppliers.

Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb, or Specially Selected Pork plus a local seafood product should be included in the menus.

Entrants are asked to strongly reflect the theme of “Homecoming” in their menu choice by considering what visitors to the area would want to experience when sampling local Scottish food.

After the first round of menu submissions, the shortlisted chefs will be announced and invited to prepare their dishes for the judges at Taste of Grampian, including award-winning cook and food writer Lady Claire Macdonald and representatives from NES College.

The overall winner will receive two weekends of work experience, courtesy of Nick Nairn, at his very popular Native by Nick Nairn Restaurant in Aberdeen and the Nick Nairn Cook School.

The successful young chef will also receive £200 for the purchase of food preparation equipment, courtesy of Quality Meat Scotland.

The runner-up will receive a £200 prize for food preparation equipment, with the third and fourth placed finalists each receiving a £50 voucher.

John Gregor, Executive Director of the ANM Group said: “This initiative is a really exciting opportunity to showcase the passion and talent of some of the north-east’s top chefs of the future.

“We are absolutely delighted that Nick will give the winner such a fantastic work experience opportunity.”

Application forms are available by contacting Carol Fowler at or 01224 646488.

The deadline for submission of written entries is Tuesday, May 20.

Applicants must be available to attend the final on Saturday, June 7 from 10am to 2pm.