Photo Gallery: Budding City College Norwich masterchefs into fish dish finals

Four budding masterchefs from City College Norwich will go on to represent the city in the national finals of a culinary contest to find the best fish dish.

Six teams from colleges across the region, including two from City College Norwich's Vocationally Related Qualification (VRQ) demonstrated their talents at the Ipswich Road-based college's Debut restaurant yesterday in front of a panel of judges.

All 12 were given a choice of fish from which to create a starter, an intermediate and a main course to impress the panel, which included Brasted's chef Chris Busby and Daniel Savage from Caistor Hall.

But the pressure was really on as the student chefs were given just two hours to cook three separate fish courses using sustainable fish such as tilapia that they will then serve to local hoteliers and restaurateurs who are guests at the event.

The prize at stake for the winners of the regional final of the National UK Seafood Championships is a place in the prestigious national finals in Grimsby later this year.

And after sampling the delicious delights, it was the two teams from City College Norwich, Lauren Goodyear and Sarah Griffiths and Grace Smith and Adam Wright, that will go on to the finals.

Speaking before the judges made their decisions, Miss Griffiths, 18, and Miss Goodyear, 19, explained how they were hoping to impress with their trio of smoked haddock themed menu which included kedgeree with smoked quails egg, haddock pate with Melba toast and miniature fish and chips with a pea puree.

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Miss Griffiths, from Hethersett, who is a third year VRQ student at the college and who also works at Mackintosh's Canteen in Norwich, said: 'We wanted to do something simple with the fish so we could do classic dishes with a twist like quails eggs.'

She said she was hopeful their menu would be good enough to persuade judges to put them into the finals of the competition in Grimsby.

Miss Goodyear, from Aylsham, who is also a third-year student at City College Norwich and a chef at the Banningham Crown pub in Banningham, said: 'We were pleased, it went down fairly well; we liked it.'

Daniel Savage, from Caistor Hall, said: 'I thought the standard of cooking was really good this year, very skilled and they all cooked their fish beautifully. It has been really difficult to decide who should go through to the final.'

Other results included a merit to Southgate College, South Kent College (K College), The Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education and North Warwickshire and Hinckley College

Steve Thorpe, head of the Hotel, Hair and Beauty School at City College Norwich, said: 'We were very excited to be holding the regional final of the competition here at City College Norwich.

'The competition is a really great opportunity for students to develop skills and to get the chance to work with new and exciting ingredients.'

Have your talents earned you national recognition? Call Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@