Cooks Wanted: Must Be Up For A Challenge

by Alastair Hamilton -

The highly successful Taste of Shetland Cooking Challenge is now open for entries. The competition, run by Shetland Food & Drink, was launched last year. There was a large number of entries and the exciting live final was held at last year’s Shetland Food Fair.

Semi-finalists Jenny Fraser, Caroline Tait and Chris Percival battled it out in front of competition judges to win the Shetland Cooking Challenge accolade, with Chris Percival being announced the winner.

Marian Armitage, Chair of Shetland Food and Drink, says: "The competition last year was not only great fun, it was really interesting to see how home cooks in Shetland use Shetland produce in their dishes. There was a lot of cooking talent on display in both the semi-finals and the final, and we were bowled over by the standard throughout. Everyone who took part seemed to love the experience and we are looking to exceed last year’s success with this year’s competition. We are also delighted to be able to rebrand the competition as the Taste of Shetland Cooking Challenge.”

we were bowled over by the standard throughout

Marion continues: “I hope that as many Shetland folk apply this year as possible. You don’t have to be an expert, you just need to love cooking, particularly cooking with local produce. To enter the competition you need to devise a three-course meal which uses Shetland produce wherever possible. As this year’s theme is ‘Grow Your Own’, one of the courses should show creative use of Shetland-grown fruit and/or vegetables. Entrants need to write a short paragraph describing the provenance of their main ingredients and any other information about their choice of menu. We are really looking forward to seeing some great entries again this year.”

At stake is an amazing foodie weekend in Edinburgh for the winner, who’ll enjoy return flights for two people to Edinburgh; an overnight stay in the Malmaison, Leith; and a six-course tasting menu with matching wines at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Martin Wishart, with champagne on arrival, coffee and hand-made petits fours and a visit to the kitchens.

Anderson Butchers becomes the competition’s first lead sponsor. The company will support the competition from beginning to end. Ian Anderson, Owner, Anderson Butchers, says: “Anderson Butchers is a family business that has provided the people of Shetland with high quality, locally-sourced meat products since 1990. We strongly believe in Shetland produce, sourcing our beef and lamb from GB & AM Anderson’s farm in Weisdale. Our expert butchers then carefully prepare the meat in store, ensuring a quality product from croft to plate. We love encouraging our customers to buy locally and try new meats, ingredients and recipes, not just for special occasions, but for everyday cooking too. That’s why we are delighted to be the first lead sponsor of the Taste of Shetland Cooking Challenge.”

an amazing foodie weekend in Edinburgh

Anderson Butchers have two premises in Shetland - their main store on Commercial Road in Lerwick and their flagship store in Whiteness. They also own Da Steak Hoose restaurant in Lerwick. Their products are also sold in a wide range of shops all over Shetland and served up regularly in many local cafés and restaurants.

Marian Armitage, Chair of Shetland Food and Drink adds: “We are delighted to have Anderson Butchers on board. Such a community-focused business is a perfect match for the competition. And this year we are thrilled to be working with Shetland College UHI, who are helping us with the organisation of the event. We are looking forward to working with the staff and students to deliver a great event this year.”

Entrants need to email their entry to: ToSCookingChallenge@uhi.ac.uk before the closing date - midnight on Thursday 10 August 2017. Semi-finalists will be selected and all entrants will be notified by Thursday 17 August.

The semi-final will take place on Saturday 2 September starting at 9am in the Shetland College and three finalists will be selected by the judges. Entrants will be allowed to have a helper with them.

The live final will take place at noon on Sunday 17 September at the Taste of Shetland Festival, with the winner being announced later in the afternoon.

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