Moray College UHI graduate wins Runner Up at the 2021 Young Scottish Chef Of The Year Competition

Finlay Laing was awarded the Runner Up title of the Scottish Young Chef of the Year for 2021 and won the prize for being the most hygienic chef with outstanding kitchen management and hygiene practices.

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Finlay Laing, Moray College UHI graduate and Runner Up at the 2021 Young Scottish Chef Of The Year Competition

Finlay graduated from the Hospitality and Tourism Academy at Moray College UHI in 2018 with a HNC in Professional Cookery, and now works as Senior Chef de Partie at 3 rosette restaurant, The Gannet, in Glasgow.

The Young Scottish Chef Of The Year competition is open to any chef under the age of 24 with competitors being asked to design and submit a three-course menu that focusses on seasonal produce. This year, competitors were required to design a main course using lamb. From this, a few lucky finalists took part in a live competition at City of Glasgow College. The Young Chefs had a total of 2.5 hours to prepare, make and serve their three-course menu for four judges.

Finlay Laing's dishes for the 2021 Young Scottish Chef Of The Year competitionFinlay’s menu for the competition comprised of brined scallops, cucumber, sashi and seashore veg for Starter, roast partridge, mushroom & barley risotto, wild mushrooms, cavalo nero with brown chicken and partridge sauce for Main and hazelnut and burnt butter cake, coffee crème pat and wild mushrooms for Dessert.

Finlay said:

“The competition was exciting and nerving at the same time. I had a lot of support especially from my work and my Head Chef, Peter. I was really pleased at the end of the competition with what I put up for the judges. The judges gave some excellent feedback which I will take onboard and use in the future as I hope to enter again next year and try improve on second place.”

Reflecting on his experience at Moray College UHI, Finlay said:

“Moray College UHI has a good reputation for cookery courses and gave me the qualifications and valuable experiences I needed for my future career. The college teaches so many skills that are essential to Chefs and I use these every day. One of the highlights of my time at college was when the class took a trip to London and we got the chance to visit a 3 rosette restaurant; The Frog by Adam Handling. Because of this trip I was able to make connections and managed to get a week of work experience during the term holidays there!”

“I am really enjoying where I’m at with my career and I am looking forward to any opportunities that are to come. That’s the most exciting thing about a hospitality career, I’ll never stop learning.”

Group shot of the finalists of the 2021 Young Scottish Chef Of The Year
Finlay (left) with fellow Scottish Young Chef finalists and 2021 winner, Fraser Cameron (3rd from left)