South Essex College cookery students try to retain their seafood title

FOUR students from South Essex College have secured their ‘plaice’ in the regional final of a seafood cooking competition.

Stephanie Lawrence, Zoe Dyer, Joshua Taylor and Joseph Angell made it through the first round of the Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition and will now compete in the regional final at City College Norwich on Friday 20 March.

The City & Guilds Diploma in Advanced Professional Cookery students are determined to put their heart and ‘sole’ into it to emulate the success of South Essex College students Michael Balding and Amy Hawthorne, who won the competition last year.

The four students are competing as two individual teams with the girls making up one duo, and the boys the other, ensuring some in house rivalry.

What’s more, Zoe and Joseph are a couple, but elected to be on different teams, making the competition even more ‘eel-ectric’, but Zoe was adamant the ‘rivalry’ would be an advantage.

Zoe, from Basildon, said: “We are all so happy to be in the regional final because we are such a small group and we get on so well.

“I think having two teams in the final will enable us to push each other even further and provide more support. It would be great if we could both reach the national final. We might be competing against each other, but when we’re at College we are like a family.”

For the competition, each team must cook three courses and produce six servings of each. One will be sampled by the judges while another will be on display. The other four dishes will be served to hungry diners in the restaurant who will provide feedback.

The students are now spending as much time in the kitchen as possible to perfect their dishes ahead of the regional final.

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