Newcastle’s trainee chefs offered opportunities with Rick Stein and Mark Hix after competition win

Two budding chefs from Newcastle College University Centre have been named Seafood Chefs of the Year and offered a two-week placement with Mark Hix

Newcastle College University Centre students Kian Marshall and Ben Jackson have been named Seafood Chefs of the Year.

Their award includes a two-week placement at Mark Hix’s restaurants in Dorset, with the Seafood Chef of the Year award given to young chefs a great experience.

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This year, Kian and Ben, who are currently studying degrees in Culinary Arts, competed against eight teams of the best young chefs across the country.

The pair came out victorious, displaying their knowledge, skills and talent for preparing and cooking seafood from sustainable sources throughout the competition.

The two Newcastle College University students were handed a set of Global Knives and trophies for their competition win

Competitors created a range of dishes from scratch, judged by world-renowned seafood chefs Rick Stein, Mitch Tonks, Mark Hix and Nathan Outlaw, for a priceless grand prize.

Kian said: “Taking part in the competition has been incredible, and it’s still sinking in that we’ve won.

“It’s been great to have been able put everything we’ve learned in the classroom and workplace into action.

“We’ve also had the chance to meet and learn from other chefs from across the country. A special mention goes to our lecturer who has been a great mentor and inspiration throughout our time here at the college.”

Ben added: “The experience I’ve gained from the competition really helped develop me as a chef. Thank you to our lecturer, it feels amazing that all the work has paid off."

Chef lecturer Matthew Beadnell said: “It’s a really tough competition. Both Kian and Ben worked so hard practising their skills for hours at a time.

“I felt like a proud parent watching them compete and they thoroughly deserved to win. They’re a credit to me as a lecturer.

“Kian wants to go and work in Australia eventually, and through this competition, he was able to have conversations with Rick Stein who has offered him a placement, when the time comes.”

Winners Kian and Ben both took home a set of Global knives valued at £1,000, individual trophies and a year’s subscription to the Craft Guild of Chefs.