Student chef wins Michelin-starred restaurant experience

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A New College Lanarkshire student has won the opportunity to work in a Michelin-star restaurant after winning a prestigious student chef competition.

Paul McLean, studying City & Guilds Professional Cookery at the Cumbernauld Campus, was named the winner of the #lovescottishsalmon Scottish Student Chef Competition after creating and photographing a winning dish – with the top prize a work placement at Michelin-starred Restaurant Martin Wishart in Edinburgh.

The competition, run by Scottish Chefs, aimed to engage cookery students from across Scotland while helping to increase the awareness and versatility of Scottish salmon on menus across the food service sector within Scotland.

Supported by Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, the competition attracted 34 entries, with Paul’s creation awarded number one at the Scottish Chefs Conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 4 November.

His winning dish was Baked Scottish Salmon with Creamed Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi, garnished with Saffron Potato, Courgette and Pea Shoots.

As well as winning the work placement, Paul also won a membership to Scottish Chefs and a signed Martin Wishart cookbook and set of Russums kitchen knives.

He said: “I felt so proud of winning this award. My inspiration comes from my lecturers here at Cumbernauld Campus.

“I am excited about going to work in Martin Wisharts Michelin Restaurant as this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I hope to gain enough experience and one day own my own restaurant. This would be a dream come true.”

Paul entered the competition under the guidance of lecturer, Tom Devlin.

Tom said: “Paul is a very confident learner with a very dry sense of humour - what you need to succeed in our industry.

“I am very proud of the work he put into his winning dish and I am also delighted as this was the first time I have ever participated in competition work and it has certainly given me an appetite to encourage more students going forward.”

New College Lanarkshire has a range of Hospitality and Professional Cookery courses. For more information, visit: https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/hospitality-and-professional-cookery

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