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Winners Press Release

Winners Announced North East of Scotland Chef and Restaurant of the Year 2018

The final of this year’s chef’s competition took place on the 10th and 11th of June at Entier, Westhill and North East Scotland College, Aberdeen.  The area’s top chefs took part in a cook off, in five finals: Chef of the Year, Young Chef of the Year, Seafood Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, and Pork Chef of the Year.

The panel of judges were Joe Queen, Archerfield House. Bruce Sangster, Graham Singer of ESS, David Hunt, Inspire Catering, and Gary MacLean, Scotland's National Chef and winner of Master Chef the Professionals.

The judging of Restaurant of the Year, Hotel Restaurant of the Year, Best Afternoon Tea and Bar Food Award were judged by unannounced inspection.  Bruce Sangster, formerly of 1 Michelin Star, Sangster's, Elie, and head of the judging panel said " I am delighted to see that standard of food at the finalist restaurants has continued to improve.  I started judging the category years ago and am heartened to see a higher standard across the board.  It's also encouraging that new businesses are taking part, and are cooking at a much higher level than I saw in my first couple of years judging the competition."

The Winner of North East of Scotland Hotel Restaurant of the Year was The Chester Hotel.  Rothesay Rooms, Ballater won Restaurant of the Year.  The winner of the Best Afternoon Tea was Saplinbrae Hotel & Lodges, and The Newmachar Hotel won the Bar Food Award.

The Competition organised by Hospitality Training, Scotland's only industry specific Group Training Association.  Karen Black, General Manager said, "I'd like to warmly congratulate all of the finalists and especially the winners.  Tonight is the culmination of months of planning and it has been wonderful to see everything come together for the competitors.  Everyone did extremely well, and we should be rightly proud of the talent we have here in the North East."


Winners in the Restaurant Categories:

NE Scotland Restaurant of the Year

The Rothesay Rooms, Ballater


NE Scotland Hotel Restaurant of the Year

The Chester Hotel


NE Scotland Best Afternoon Tea

Saplinbrae Hotel & Lodges


NE of Scotland Bar Food Award

Newmachar Hotel


Winners Chef of the Year Categories:


This year’s winner of the NE of Scotland Chef of the year 2018 is Craig Palmer, Marcliffe Hotel & Spa. His winning menu consisted of:


Confit Salmon, New Potatoes, Oyster Emulsion, Watercress, Valoute


Lamb Loin, Black Olive Polenta, Peas and Broad Beans, Goat's Curd, Lamb


Lemon Posset, Strawberry Espuma, Caneles, Compressed Strawberries



NE of Scotland Young Chef of the Year was won by Sarah Morris, Kildrummy Inn, the winning menu consisted of:


Sea Trout, Baby Gem, Pancetta, Langoustine, Pea Sauce


Lamb Loin, Sweetbread, Pomme Dauphine, Wild Garlic, Asparagus


White Chocolate Panna Cotta, Strawberry Consomme, Pistachio, Strawberry Sorbet



Seafood Chef was won by Andrew Forbes, Entier Ltd.  His winning dish consisted of:


Sous Bide Turbot, Burnt Butter and Seaweed Foam, Puffed Black Rice, Oyster Emulsion, Egg Yolk and Truffle Ravioli



Pastry Chef was won by Kyle Jackson, The Cock & Bull. The dishes were:


Lemon Meringue Pie, Posset, Curd, Berries, Sorbet, Pastry, Italian Meringue, and Lemon Balm


Chocolate Orange Fondant, Orange and Cardamom Ice Cream, Gel, Segments and Coriander



Pork Chef winner, Beatriz Malonzo, The Falls of Feugh, Banchory. Her winning dish was:


Pork Fillet, Bon Bon, Ravioli, Sweet Potato, Kale


Chairman of the judges, Joe Queen, said " Another fascinating culinary experience this year.  We saw some great techniques, and fine local products being used in adventurous ways.  My team of judges really enjoyed the quality of the competitor's dishes."


The Competition aims to forge strong links between chefs and local suppliers and producers.  Among the prizes for the winners are stages at some of the country's best restaurants including No.10 at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh and the Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire.  The finals were followed by a sumptuous awards dinner provided by the events and catering team at The University of Aberdeen.  The stunning landmark building Elphinstone Hall proved a worthy venue to celebrate excellence in the culinary arts in the North East of Scotland.


Headline Sponsors

Entier Ltd & McWilliam Aberdeen



 Balvenie St Ice Cream - Home of Whisky Ice Cream, HIT Scotland, Opportunity North East 


Supported by

The University of Aberdeen, North East Scotland College, Federation of Chefs Scotland, Steelite International, Glen Garioch Distillery, Lanson International, Braehead Foods and Summerhouse Drinks.


For More Information Contact:
Karen Black
General Manager
Hospitality Training

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