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TV chef Jean-Christophe Novelli to run rule over dishes at UK Young Seafood Chef Of The Year competition in Grimsby - Grimsby Telegraph

The annual contest, now in its 17th year, takes place at the Grimsby Institute's University Centre this Friday, featuring students from colleges across the country.

French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli will be among the four industry judges who will decide the winner on the day.

Heats for the competition were held in Norwich, Motherwell and North Wales earlier this year, with teams of two whittled down to a final nine for the grand finale.

Paul Robinson, curriculum leader for hospitality at the Institute, said Mr Novelli's appearance signified a real coup for the competition.

"It's really good to have him up here for the entrants, as well as our own students and for the Institute," he said.

"It's great that the students will see someone they recognise from the television."

Among the teams in the final are Grimsby Institute duo Victoria Hamilton and Emma Higham,

Teams will be tasked with creating a three-course seafood meal with six portions of each course.

Prizes, including a £1,000 Thermomix blender, will be on offer for the winners, as well as second, third and fourth place, and merit awards.

Mr Robinson said the Thermomix blender was the "Ferrari of cooking prizes".

He said: "It's a really prestigious competition and something that looks great on the CVs of these students.

"The standard is always really high and we have some teams that have entered before as well as some new ones.

"Generally the standard is what you would expect from a Michelin star restaurant."

He said the winning team would need to need to keep "clear heads" on the day and said it was imperative students did not forget the key ingredient – seasoning.

"Grimsby, the seafood capital, is really the only place this competition could be held," he added.

The competition was launched by the Institute back in 1997, and the final has been held in Grimsby every year since.

It is sponsored by Seafish and Young's Seafood. Thermomix is providing this year's first prize, a state-of-the-art blender, while clothing for the competitors will be supplied by Russums.

As well as Mr Novelli, the panel of judges will include Serge Nolan, from Youngs, Franck Pontais and Nicky Hawkins. The students taking part will be put up overnight on Thursday at the Brackenborough Hotel in Louth, and the Ashbourne Hotel in North Killingholme.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at 3pm on Friday at the Institute.