Aquarium searching for young fish pie master

Macduff Marine Aquarium
Macduff Marine Aquarium

Macduff Marine Aquarium usually showcases living fish and marine life from around our shores, but for one weekend in September, the aquarium will be celebrating fish in a different way and exploring their lives from sea to plate, including the journey in between.

As well as the normal aquarium activities and displays, the FishFest event will promote sustainable seafood through cooking demonstrations and a fun challenge to hook young people interested in fish and food.

As part of the fishy celebrations, aspiring young chefs are being invited to compete in the inaugural Young Fish Pie Master cooking challenge.

Kids aged 12-17 can submit a recipe for fish pie, using locally sourced and sustainable seafood ingredients, along with some background about their recipe – whether it is a family favourite handed down through the generations, or their own new twist on this traditional dish.

All entries will be seen by a panel of judges from the food industry who will then select five finalists to compete in a cook off in a marquee outside the aquarium and kick off the FishFest celebrations on Saturday, September 12.

The contestants will have an hour to assemble and cook their pies for presenting to the judges for the all-important tasting.

David Dougal, head chef at the Banff Springs Hotel, will be one of the judges.

He said: “I’m always keen to be involved with community activities and this challenge is a great way to encourage kids to get into cooking and thinking about using local ingredients.

“I’m looking forward to tasting some great fish pies!”

The winning recipe will be featured on the Banff Springs menu for a time after the competition, prepared by David and his team, with the winner and family being invited to dine at the restaurant to sample this special dish.

In addition to the prestigious title of Young Fish Pie Master 2015 and trophy, other prizes will be up for grabs and all contestants will receive a goody bag for taking part.

Claire Matthews, aquarium manager, said: “This is a really exciting competition!

“It’s certainly a different activity for us here at the aquarium – we’re more used to watching fish than eating them – but what better way to highlight the importance of fish in a healthy diet and maintaining healthy fish stocks for the future through our careful choice of seafood?

“We hope lots of young people take up the challenge to create a fabulous fish pie.”

For details of how to enter see or the aquarium’s Facebook page.

Closing date for entries is Friday, August 28.

The Young Fish Pie Master 2015 contest is supported by the Community Food Fund, Seafood in Schools, North East Scotland College, the Banff Springs Hotel and Guide Charters & Cruises.