Winner of last year's Young Scottish Chef of the Year at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards has been invited back to help judge this year's finalists.
Tue, 01 May 2012
Ross Marshall, head chef of The Road Hole Restaurant at The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, will don a judge's hat at this year's competition that will see some of Scotland's finest talent in the food and drink sector battle for honours in the Young Talent category.
Ross is “honoured and flattered” to have a place on the panel and joins the expert line up including Cate Devine (food and drink editor, The Herald) and Sophie Fraser (Scotland Food & Drink).
Five young finalists will each give a 10 minute presentation highlighting their experience and passion for their individual sector and role. The judges will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation when appropriate, and each finalist will then undergo a short 10 minute Q & A to talk about their passion for Scottish food and drink and their aspirations for the future.
The judges will then shortlist three entrants and decide on the overall winner.
As a former winner, Ross understands the pressure this year’s finalists will be under saying: “The fact that the category is now open to everyone in the food and drink sector is fantastic, yet no doubt daunting for the applicants as they will be up against people with roles they may know little about.
"This year’s finalists include everyone from a supervisor in a top scallop processing department to front of house staff and a butcher’s lamber, so we are in for a really interesting time.
"The panel are looking for someone who has the ability to represent the Scottish food and drink industry at a national and potentially international level, someone who has a strong knowledge of the Scottish food and drink landscape and most importantly, someone with a creative passion and flare for food and drink."
Ross appreciates the platform the Young Chef of The Year award has given him, and hopes the three short listed finalists - and the eventual winner - make the most of the opportunity: “Not only is it a great honour being recognised in your field, but it provides huge help and encouragement in developing a young person’s career.
"The Awards ceremony itself is a fantastic event and I hope the finalists enjoy themselves as much as I did!”
Looking back on his win in 2011, Ross is hugely appreciative of the help and support he has received at the five red star resort in St Andrews, citing his mentor, Food & Beverage Director and Master of Culinary Arts, Simon Whitley, as an inspiration.
Simon is "very proud" of the way Ross has risen to the challenges he has faced as Young Scottish Chef, saying: "This past year has been a truly exciting time in Ross’s career, and it’s a real testament to his hard work to be asked to help judge the Young Talent Award."
Simon adds: "He is an inspiring young man, not just as a Chef but as a mentor for future chefs too. Our team at the Road Hole Restaurant look up to him and are always learning from him."
The three short listed applicants will be invited to attend the awards ceremony on 24 May at the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro Hotel, where the winner will be announced.
The awards, run jointly by Scotland Food & Drink and the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, have been recognising and rewarding the very best in Scottish food and drink for many years and continue to be considered a true badge of excellence. The shortlist is available here.