Student chefs at the Isle of Man College have been cooking up a storm during the heats of the inaugural Student Chef of the Year competition.
Over the past two weeks, aspiring chefs had to produce and present a meal in front of a panel of judges, including the keen eye of top Manx chef Tony Quirk.
From an original entry of 30 students, 11 made it through to secondary heat stage.
And from a range of dishes that included a deep-fried lobster and crab fritter served upon a plate of squid ink risotto, steak served with potato cakes and pork balls served on pasta, four chefs have now been selected to go through to the public semi-finals, to be held at the Isle of Man Queenie Festival, on Sunday, August 16.
The top two chefs will then go head-to-head at the Isle of Man Food And Drink Festival at the Villa Marina on Sunday, September 20.
Most of the chefs were visibly nervous during last week’s heats, with the judging panel, which also included Janna Hortshuis, from sponsor Robinson’s, and Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture marketing officer Audrey Fowler, eager to examine all their actions and skills, particularly during the crucial plating-up process.
The four chefs selected were Dominic Woloszyk, who wowed the judges with a wonderful dish of potato and egg ravioli served with smoked fish, Nicole Crawley, who produced a wonderful take on traditional lamb broth, Tyler Livesey, with his queenie and crab ravioli, and Maria Eduardo, who produced a perfectly cooked fillet steak on creamed potato.
Tony confessed to being blown away by the standard, and told the students that they had raised expectations for the standard at both the Queenie Festival and the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival.
Chris Franklin, lecturer in hospitality and catering at the college, said:‘This competition is an exciting opportunity for our students to practise and demonstrate the skills they’ve learned and to cook in a live theatre environment.
‘We wish the semi-finalists the best of luck.’