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Winners Press Release

Winners Announced North East of Scotland Chef and Restaurant of the Year 2017

The final of this year’s chef’s competition took place on the 11th and 12th of May at North East Scotland College.  The area’s top chefs took part in a cook off, in five finals: Chef of the Year, Young Chef of the Year, Contract Chef of the Year, Seafood Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, and Lamb Chef of the Year.

The panel of judges were, Kevin MacGillivray, Chairman of Judges, Catering and Hospitality Manager for the National Trust for Scotland, Ian MacDonald,  Executive Chef, St Andrews Links of Chefs Scotland, and Joe Queen, Food Development Chef, the Fresh Food Company, Federation Board of Management, Jav Aziz, Executive Chef, Elior UK at Rangers, and Vice President of the Federation.

Kevin MacGillivray, said “Great competitions over the past two days. There were fantastic cooking skills on show, which caused a great deal of deliberation amongst the judges. The chefs didn't make our jobs easy. I was also delighted to see the juniors improve, and come back from last year!"

The judging of Restaurant of the Year, Hotel Restaurant of the Year, Best Afternoon Tea and Bar Food Award took place in earlier in May. The selected finalists were judged by means of an unannounced visit to the finalist’s establishment. Karen Black, Hospitality Training said “It was a pleasure and a privilege to have Michelin starred Chef, Bruce Sangster, to help judge these categories. They He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of food and know what it takes to run a successful food business”.

Bruce the retired proprietor of Sangster’s, Elie, has held one Michelin Star since 2009. Bruce is one of the UK’s most respected chefs, winning British Chef of the Year in 2000. He said “It was heartening to see that the finalists have been able to adapt to challenging the economic conditions locally, and have been innovative in their menu selection, to reflect quality and value for money”. The competition is organised by Hospitality Training, Scotland’s only industry specific Group Training Association. Karen Black, General Manager said, “The competition has been a great success. Year on year the chefs improve, and continue to impress. Today is the culmination of months of planning and it has been wonderful to see everything come together for the competitors. Everyone did extremely well but our congratulations go to the winners, who produced some inspiring dishes today”.


Winners in the Restaurant Categories:

NE Scotland Restaurant of the YearCOY 2017.jpg

The Rothesay Rooms, Ballater


NE Scotland Hotel Restaurant of the Year

The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa


NE Scotland Best Afternoon Tea

The Falls of Feugh Restaurant, Banchory


NE of Scotland Bar Food Award

The Dunavon, Aberdeen


Winners Chef of the Year Categories:


This year’s winner of the NE of Scotland Chef of the year 2017 is Ross Cochrane, Palm Court Aberdeen. His winning menu consisted of:


Poached Rabbit, Leg Spring Roll, Pancetta, Pancetta, Squash, Wild Mushrooms, Pickled Bramble, Rabbit Sauce


Halibut, Sea Vegetables, Leek and Truffle Cannelloni, Roasted Cauliflower, Jersey Royals, Brown Shrimp and Lilliput Butter


Lemon Thyme and Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Barra Berries, White Chocolate Sorbet, Strawberry Gel



NE of Scotland Young Chef of the Year was won by Alix Frost, Entier Ltd, the winning menu consisted of:


Lamb Sweetbreads, Pea Puree, Asparagus, Confit Shallot and Madeira


Chump of Lamb, Butter Confit Potatoes, Baby Vegetables, Wild Garlic, and a Redcurrant Jus


White Chocolate and Pistachio Tartlet with a Raspberry Sorbet



A double delight! Seafood Chef was also won by Ross Cochrane of the Palm Court Hotel, Aberdeen. His winning dish consisted of:


Seared Halibut, Leek, Smoked Cheese, and Truffle Canelloni, Roasted Cauliflower, Jersey Royals, Brown Shrimp and Lilliput Butter



Pastry Chef was won by Flynn Pirie, Rox Hotel, Aberdeen. The dishes were:


Dark Chocolate Fondant, Salt Butter Caramel, Coffee Panna Cotta, Iced Peanut Butter Parfait


Lemon Posset, Strawberry, Basil



Lamb Chef winner, Steven Castle, The Dunavon Hotel, Aberdeen. His winning dish was:


Cannon of New Season Aberdeenshire Lamb, Glazed Kidneys, Pommes Amandine, Wild Garlic, Spring Vegetables, Goats Curds, and Morels



Event Sponsors


Entier, Fresh, McWilliam Aberdeen Ltd, Turriffs of Montrose, Fresh Food Company, Simpsons Buckie, HIT Scotland


Supported by


Meldrum House Country Hotel, North East Scotland College, Federation of Chefs Scotland, Steelite International, The Press and Journal.


For More Information Contact:
Karen Black
General Manager
Hospitality Training

T: 01224 749100
M: 07834 151357
E: info@hospitality-training.org.uk